Important things to consider when deciding to petition for guardianship: Is guardianship really necessary for this person? Are they capable of making their own decisions with a little help and support from family, friends and service providers? If a guardian is needed, is there a family member or trusted friend willing to serve? 

If you feel that guardianship is needed, determine which form of guardianship is the least restrictive for that individual.  

Partial Guardianship:    When the person with disabilities is capable of making  some, but not all, of their own decisions.
                                 The powers of a partial guardian must be specifically listed in the court order. The duration of a
                                 partial guardianship cannot be set for more than five years.

Plenary Guardianship:  This is considered a full guardianship, and includes the responsibility of making all decisions  
                                 on the behalf of the individual. A plenary does not normally expire unless ordered by the court 
                                 or determined by the judge at the time of the hearing. 

Stand-by Guardian:     When someone petitions the court to name a primary  guardian they may also include a request for                                                                                                                                  a stand-by guardian. Stand-by status means this person/agency may assume guardianship upon the                                                                                                                                  death or resignation of the  primary guardian. A hearing is not required unless decided by                                                                                                                                                 the court. Also, a stand-by guardian may act on behalf of the primary guardian, in emergency                                                                                                                                          situations, when the guardian cannot be contacted.    


Remember, at any time, the individual has the right to petition the court to modify the type of guardianship issued or to remove or change a guardian.