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Guardianship of an Adult

Guardianship of an Incapacitated Adult Thru Court Order


Court appointment of a guardian for an alleged incapacitated person is more involved than appointment in the case of a minor.  A formal hearing must be started by petitioning the Court for either a limited or general guardianship.

Limited guardianship - allows the guardian to only manage some of the affairs of the ward

General guardianship - gives the guardian the right to to manage all business and personal matters for the ward


There must be a hearing in the county the person lives in to determine if the adult is incapacitated and unable to take care of themselves without a guardian.  The adult in question must be served personally at least 14 days before the hearing.  Notice of a hearing on determining their capacity must also be given to, if applicable, their:

  • Spouse
  • Parents
  • Adult children
  • Anyone serving as conservator
  • Person who has care and custody

Court Hearing Rights of the Alleged Incapacitated Person

They have the same rights of due process:

  • to appear in person
  • to be represented by counsel
  • to present evidence
  • to cross-examine
  • to request a jury trial

The Court will assign:

  • A lawyer (if they do not have one of their own)
  • An "investigator" to interview the people involved and visit the living situation.  This person is typically someone in social services, a nurse, or someone trained in the law and an officer, employee, or appointee of the Court
  • An "examiner" to give a medical exam of the incapacitated person.  This person is a doctor, psychologist, or registered nurse.


A bond may be required by the guardian, but are not mandated in every situation.  Normally a conservator is appointed if the ward owns a large amount of property or income (typically, larger than $10,000 a year).  The guardian has a right to receive funds and benefits, but if the amount is large, the Court will require a bond.

The information offered on this site is made available as a public service and is not intended to take the place of legal advice. If you do not understand something, have trouble filling out any of the forms, or are not sure these forms and instructions apply to your situation, see an attorney for help. Consult a state Law Library or the Legal Aid Resources page for information on free or reduced cost legal aid for more information.
Not all forms may be accepted in all Arizona courts – you should contact the clerk of the court in which you will be filing to confirm the use of a particular form, determine whether any additional forms are required and verify the filing fees. The Arizona Bar Foundation assumes no responsibility and accepts no liability for actions taken by users of these documents, including reliance on their contents.