In most cases, the finance administration and guardianship laws apply to individuals who have been deemed incapable of running their affairs or who are in need of a finance manager or guardian due to a disability.
This could be a person with a mental illness, intellectual disability, dementia, or a disability that interferes with their ability to communicate their decisions.
Since the 1980s, state courts (made up of people with different levels of expertise) have been able to make decisions to appoint someone as a financial manager and personal guardian.
Generally, finance managers (sometimes referred to as “administrators”) handle the money side, while a personal guardian makes decisions about their health and lifestyle.
Guardians can also play an important role in making decisions about “restrictive practices,” which normally restrict a person’s freedom of movement (sometimes through physical or chemical restrictions). Guardians can also be empowered to make decisions about specific medical treatments – for example, whether to give a person long-acting contraception.
To have a finance manager or guardian appointed, a person must file an application with the court or guardianship court. The applicant may be a government employee, family member, service provider, or medical professional who believes the individual is unable to make their own decisions.