Adults who suffer from mental illness, mental impairment, physical incapacitation, or some other debilitating illness can have a guardian appointed to act on their behalf. The guardians have the power to make economic decisions that are in the best interest of the disabled adult. Depending on the situation, someone can request to become the guardian or the court may choose whoever it believes to be an appropriate guardian for that individual. Similar to a guardian over a child, the guardian over an adult owes a duty of loyalty and care when it comes to the assets of the individual the guardian represents. The guardian must attempt to make decisions regarding property and investments that will be in the best interest of the party he or she represents.
Sometimes the court will appoint a temporary guardian over an adult until he is able to adequately represent himself again. The guardian will serve his role until the court decides the represented party is capable of independent decision-making, or chooses to appoint a permanent guardian.