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Anyone (individual, agency, residential or medical facility, et al.) may file a guardianship petition with the Clerk of Superior Court.
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"The term `incompetent adult' means an adult or emancipated minor who lacks sufficient capacity to manage the adult's own affairs or to make or communicate important decisions concerning the adult's person, family, or property whether the lack of capacity is due to mental illness, mental retardation, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, autism, inebriety, senility, disease, injury, or similar cause or condition." [G. S 35A-1101(7)]
Less restrictive means to protect the disabled adult should be considered before a guardianship petition is filed. Needs may be met by a representative payee, an attorney-in-fact, a health care agent acting under a durable power of attorney or family and friends.
The preferred priority for guardian is:
A guardian is not required to contribute financially toward the support of the ward and is not liable for the ward's debts. However, the ward's own resources should be used wisely for the needs of the ward.