Alex & BrianWhat is Guardianship?

An individual is considered a legal adult and their own guardian when they turn 18, whether or not they have a disability. Individuals have full rights and responsibilities unless guardianship is established.


Guardianship is a substitute decision making process put into action by the probate court and a judge. This is appropriate for individuals who struggle making safe and healthy decisions without assistance. Alternative and less restrictive options should always be considered when thinking about guardianship.


Is Guardianship Right for Me?

Consider guardianship if an individual cannot make safe and healthy decisions independently, and if less restrictive alternatives do not ensure well-being. If families worry about the vulnerability of their loved one, guardianship and its alternatives should be considered. Everyone has a right to make mistakes and make their own choices in life. Guardianship is a way for a person to work with an individual to ensure what they want is considered and their decisions are within their best interest.


Preparing for Guardianship


This previously recorded webinar produced by The Arc Minnesota provides essential information about Guardianship:




How Can I Learn More?


  • Watch the “The Top 8 Things to Consider in Guardianship” created by The Arc to assist families in learning the basics of guardianship.
  • Read this Arc Guide to Guardianship created to help families learn and understand complicated systems.
  • Review The Arc of the US position statement on guardianship
  • Watch this video created by Hennepin County which does a wonderful job of explaining guardianship and what guardianship means for families.
  • Ask an Advocate!  The Arc’s advocates can assist families in understanding the guardianship process, getting connected to the correct places, giving resource lists and helping learn and understand required annual paperwork.

How Do I Get More Information?

Guardianship is a court process and requires a judge’s approval. For this reason, we recommend individuals pursuing guardianship seek an attorney’s assistance. For a list of attorneys who specialize in guardianship or to receive more information, please submit your request to Ask an Advocate or call The Arc Minnesota at 952-920-0855 or toll-free at 833.450.1494.