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Guardianships give court designated individuals responsibility over a range of personal care decisions on behalf of someone the court determines is incapacitated, sometimes referred to as a ward. General guardianships generally give the guardian plenary decision-making authority for the ward. Limited guardianships are preferred under most state laws, and delegate to the guardian only specific surrogate decision-making authority, based on a determination of specific areas in which the ward has impaired decision-making capacity. Guardianships can facilitate treatment and mitigate ancillary consequences that can result from neglected mental health care. Guardianship is subject to ongoing court oversight and typically requires regular reporting and check-ins.

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