Guardianship and Alternatives to Guardianship

Legal Guardianship in CT

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What is a Legal Guardian?

In Connecticut, once you turn 18, you’re considered an adult who can legally make decisions about your life. You can choose where to live, work, and get medical treatment. You can also choose how to spend your money.

Legal guardianship is granted for some adults with intellectual disability to help manage care, housing, supervision, and other important parts of life. The term “respondent” is someone for whom a guardianship petition has been filed. If the Probate Court grants guardianship, the respondent is then referred to as a “protected person.”

Learn more about Guardianship and Alternatives

Guardianship decisions

Guardianship Decisions

A legal guardian’s role is to help a protected person make the best decisions for themselves, not to dictate how they live their life. Not every person with an intellectual disability will need a legal guardian.

Legal guardians may be able to make decisions about a protected person’s:

• Programs and services
• Places of residence
• Vocational, educational, or behavioral programs
• Release of medical records
• Medical and dental care
• Authority to manage finances - If the protected person's assets are less than $10,000, the guardian can ask the Probate Court for permission to manage the protected person's money and property.
Learn more 

Types of Guardianships

Plenary (full) and limited

Plenary (full) and Limited

There are three different types of guardianships:

• Plenary (full) - For someone who requires full supervision for health and safety reasons
• Limited - For someone who can do some, but not all, of the tasks needed to maintain health and safety
Standby guardians can be added to the petition by the petitioner as a potential back up. The Probate Court may also appoint a standby guardian to act if the plenary/limited guardian dies, becomes incapable, or resigns.
Probate Court User Guide (PDF) 

Guardianship Forms

Become a legal guardian

Become a Legal Guardian for Someone 18 or Older With an Intellectual Disability

• Legal Guardianship can only be granted through Probate Court.
• A petition for legal guardianship must be filed in the district where the respondent’s permanent home is located or where the respondent currently resides.
• The application process can begin 180 days before the respondent turns 18, but they must be 18 at the time of the hearing.

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