There are different types of guardianship that should be considered before pursuing guardianship of someone you believe needs this type of service.  Regardless of the type(s) of guardianship needed, each of which is described below, only a court of law in the probate division of our legal system can appoint a guardian.  More than one guardian can be appointed, such as the mother and the father over their adult child.
It is important to point out that if you are the parent of a child with a disability, and believe that your child will need an advocate after the age of 18, then guardianship needs to be pursued prior to the 18th birthdate of that individual.  Do not assume that you as a parent can continue to make decisions for your child once the adult age of 18 is reached.
     This type of guardianship tends to the personal care of the ward.  "Ward" is the name the court system uses to describe an individual who has a guardian.  There is no financial responsibility or authority if you are only named the Guardian of the Person.  You are responsible for the ward's needs with respect to their care and comfort, health and well-being, maintenance of physical, mental and medical health, placement, and advocating for their human rights.  You are responsible for the ward's income and assets in getting the care needed; do not confuse this with the belief that you as the guardian will have to use your own income and assets.  As a guardian you will only have to make sure that the ward has appropriate benefits and income of their own such as through public aid benefits and/or social security benefits if available, or using estate funds inherited by the ward.
     This type of guardian is similar to plenary guardianship but is as described "limited".  The limits of the guardianship will be specified in the court order.  Often times an individual with a disability does well with decision making in most areas of their life but struggles with one or more specific areas, such as with medical decisions or placement options.  It is important to allow for individuals to maintain as much independence as can be handled and utilize the limited guardian when appropriate.  Remember that you can always take a case back to court if you believe that guardianship needs to change such as to become Plenary Guardian of that ward in the event that poor decisions are being made, or to restore the rights of the ward so that they have their own guardianship rights to make all their own decisions when they have proven their ability to handle making decisions on their own.
     This type of guardianship allows you to have authority over any assets of the individual with disabilities.  You are responsible to a court of law, reporting how you are handling the estate which is meant to safeguard the ward from unlawful use of the ward's estate.  You are responsible for using the estate for the benefit of ward which includes such activities as paying any bills the ward may have and utilizing our financial system to create accounts of sorts that the money will gain interest to benefit the ward in the future as well.  You should note that as the guardian of the estate, you are not responsible to use your own income and assets for the ward's needs, however, if you overspend from what the ward has available in their own estate, you may be held responsible for those amounts.  A financial planner can be very helpful with an estate issue.  I work closely with a financial planner that I trust and can help you with estate issues.
     The use of a short term guardianship can be utilized when there is question as to whether an individual is truly in need of a guardian, or even in the event that an emergency guardianship is required such as with emergency medical incidents.  In any case the judge will appoint a guardian ad litem to review the case and report their findings to help the judge make a determination as to whether a guardian should be appointed.  Temporary guardians are only appointed for up to 60 days at which time a decision will need to be made by a court of law regarding the need and type of guardianship.
     In the event that a guardian is no longer able to perform the duties for the best of interest of the ward, that person can resign as guardian but another guardian will need to be appointed by a court of law.  This person is called a successor guardian and will probably have the same responsibilities over the ward but the court order should be followed.