Guardianship is society’s formal way of safeguarding the financial and personal interests of people who, due to weakness, illness, etc., are unable to manage their affairs themselves. Authorization or general power of attorney is usually adequate for most sufferers of dementia. However it is important to know that it is also possible to appoint a guardian when the need arises and when authorization or general power of attorney is inadequate.

Guardianship can only be assigned when the principal’s affairs are no longer adequately safeguarded.

There are three types of guardianship for people over the age of 18:

1. Guardianship without declaration of incapacity to manage one’s own affairs
People who suffer from mental disorders, severe dementia or whose mental development is impeded or who is in poor health, can be assigned a guardian if they are incapable of managing their own financial or personal affairs. The guardianship may be temporary and limited to specific tasks. The principal remains legally competent and may continue to enter agreements and dispose of assets as he or she wishes. However, where affairs included in the guardianship are concerned, the guardian acts on the principal’s behalf.

2. Guardianship with a declaration of incapacity to manage one’s own affairs
If there is a distinct risk that the principal’s assets, income or other financial interests are deteriorating significantly or if the principal is being exploited or risks being financially exploited, a more comprehensive form of guardianship including a declaration that the principal is incapable of managing his or her own affairs is a potential option. The declaration of incapacity to manage one’s own affairs in a guardianship of this kind is a serious invasion of the principal’s personal integrity as it means that the principal cannot enter agreements and no longer has the right to dispose his or her own assets. It also means that the principal no longer has the right to vote.

3. Voluntary guardianship:
If, due to inexperience, poor health or a similar condition, a person requires assistance to manage his assets and other financial affairs, the principal may request that the State Administration establishes voluntary guardianship.

A voluntary guardianship may be limited to specific assets or affairs. Any and all decisions must be made with the principal. The principal remains legally competent and may continue to enter agreements and dispose of assets as he or she wishes.

The legislation governing guardianship is comprehensive and complex. Clemens Advokater employs several attorneys who are officially authorized to act as permanent guardians. We have at our disposal great expertise in all three types of guardianship and we advise on the options for setting up guardianships. We lodge requests for guardianship and implement the entire process until guardianship is established and finally implemented. We can also act as guardians.