When an individual does not have a valid health care proxy or power of attorney, and later becomes unable to manage his or her financial affairs or health care decisions during his or her lifetime, a guardian must be appointed for that person. Sometimes, legal protection may be necessary even if those documents are in place if they were procured by undue influence or fraud, or if the person lacked mental capacity to know what he or she was signing, or if the person is suffering from some other functional limitation or impairment. Guardianships are appointed for incapacitated seniors due to age or infirmity; for developmentally or differently-abled adults; or other situations where someone over the age of 18 needs someone with legal authority to make decisions for him or her. For example, a guardian may need to be appointed for someone who becomes mentally or physically disabled after an accident, progresses into further decline from Alzheimer’s or dementia, or for some other reason no longer capable of making their own decisions or caring for themselves. In these situations and others, a guardianship needs to be established. This is somewhat different from appointing a guardian for your minor children, which is typically identified in a Last Will and Testament.