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A guardianship order allows someone to make ongoing decisions on behalf of an adult with incapacity, like:

  • paying bills
  • dealing with bank accounts
  • making decisions about care and personal welfare matters

An adult is someone who is aged over 16 years. However, if necessary, a guardianship application can be made 3 months before a child reaches the age of 16, so that the order is in place on the child's 16th birthday.

A guardianship order can be granted to handle property and financial matters, personal welfare, or a combination of these.

Why guardianship might be needed

If an adult has incapacity and is unable to make decisions, you might need legal authority to do certain things for them. If there's nothing legal already in place – like a power of attorney – giving you or someone else power to do those things, an application for a guardianship order can be a way to help with making decisions.

Guardianship is likely to be more suitable when decisions need to be taken over a longer period of time for an adult with incapacity.

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