A guardian is a person or agency appointed by a court to manage the affairs of another, called the ward or incapacitated person.


Guardianship is the management of the affairs of a person who has been judged unable to manage his or her own affairs. It is a legal relationship between a competent adult and a person who is 18 or older, and who has a disability which causes incapacity.

A guardian assumes the rights of the incapacitated person to make decisions about many aspects of daily life making decisions in his or her best interest. The guardian’s actions are reviewable by the court.

A developmental disability or mental illness is not, by itself sufficient reason to declare someone incapacitated. Incapacitation has to do with a person’s inability to make a decision or, with the risk of harm that they may experience due to their inability to provide for themselves or manage their affairs.


Guardians are appointed by a court in response to a petition filed to have a guardian appointed. Any interested person may file a petition. This does not mean they want to be the appointed guardian.

The petition asks the court:

to determine that the person identified in the petition is incapacitated,

and to appoint a guardian.

Notice of the guardianship petition must be given to the person identified in the petition who has the right to object to the appointment or the finding of incapacity.

A hearing with evidence presented must be held on the appointment.

After appointment the court will generally require a minimum level of training for a court appointed guardian or conservator so that the duties of the position can be better understood.


Information from the State of Nebraska Judicial Branch, including useful forms, a reference guide, and other such information is available if you Click Here.

A useful and comprehensive guide on guardianship and conservatorship in Iowa was published by Legal Aid in 2006 and can be found if you Click Here.

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(402) 344-8044 - McClellan Law Office, L.L.C.

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