How to Make an Adult a Ward of the State

By Jeanne Dober - Updated June 19, 2017
Disabled man using a wheelchair

Adults who are incapable of making thoughtful decisions in their lives due to mental or physical disabilities sometimes become wards of family members or friends. If there is no one willing or able to be the guardian of an adult in need, you can apply for guardianship for them through the court system. Upon approval, the adult in question will become a ward of the state.

Request Reports From Medical Personnel

Doctors, case workers and counselors can provide reports stating that the adult needs someone to manage their important decisions for them. These professionals may write letters recommending a guardian or provide proof through the medical or case files that the person needs a guardian. Gather all the information into one file folder so it is accessible.

Collect a Petition for Guardianship

You can get this form from the county court house in the county the adult lives in. The name of the petition may vary. Write down and document on the form the adult's name and contact information. Explain the reasons the adult needs a guardian and that there are no family or friends to fill the role.

Return the Petition

You'll have to submit this request for guardianship to the county courthouse and pay the filing fee. Check with the courthouse what form of payment is accepted.

Attend the Hearing

A judge is required to oversee a hearing regarding the state guardianship of the adult ward. Provide the documentation you collected to the judge.

Respond to the Judge's Requests

Sometimes, a judge will request additional information. Answer all of the judge's questions about the adult honestly. The adult in question should also attend the hearing so he can answer the judge's questions.

Review the Judge's Decision

If the judge approves state guardianship, he will appoint a state guardian for the adult and explain the guardian's responsibilities and authority.

About the Author

Jeanne Dober has been a professional writer since 2007. She ghostwrites for private clients creating Web articles and copy writing projects and also writes short fiction stories. Dober's articles specialize in animals, health care, telephones, crafts and business topics. She graduate from Southern New Hampshire University with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a minor in English.

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