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Any competent person may be appointed as a guardian.
The person must be over age 18, suitable, and willing to serve.
The guardian ad litem will tell the individual the name of the person who requested the guardianship and who might be appointed as a guardian.
The court may appoint someone to investigate the facts in the petition before the hearing date.
If the incapacitated individual needs a guardian, the judge will select (appoint) a suitable guardian who is willing to serve.
If the individual needs a guardian but has some ability to take care of certain tasks, the judge may appoint a limited guardian to take care of only those things that the individual cannot.
The court will appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the incapacitated individual, unless the individual has his or her own attorney.
A person who loses this ability is called "incapacitated." When an incapacitated person lacks the understanding or ability to make or communicate informed decisions, the individual may need the help of a guardian or conservator.
A conservator takes care of an incapacitated adult's property (see Conservatorship).
One person can be both the guardian and the conservator for an incapacitated adult.
The guardian ad litem will personally visit the incapacitated individual and explain certain things, including what has been requested in the petition, the incapacitated individual's rights, and what can happen at the hearing.
The guardian ad litem will also ask the individual what he or she wants the court to do about the petition.