A guardianship is a legal proceeding under which a guardian is appointed by a court to take over decision making on behalf of, and in the place of, the individual (the ward) that is either cognitively incapacitated or is a minor child.

When a guardianship is established, the incapacitated person’s legal right to make certain decisions about personal and medical affairs  and/or  financial affairs is removed from him or her. The responsibility for making such decisions is given to the court-appointed guardian to exercise on behalf of the ward.