Guardianship

Corporation of Guardianship (CoG) has been providing professional, person-centered guardianship services for more than 40 years. As Guardian, we serve as a diligent advocate for our clients. Our goal is to keep vulnerable adults secure, safe, and independent. We ensure that our clients have a stable and supportive lifestyle within the least restrictive environment.

Guardianship is a legal intervention put in place when an individual becomes incapacitated (by illness, aging, injury, or other factors), and they are unable to continue making life’s big decisions. Family members and friends commonly serve as Guardians. In cases where this is not possible and a professional Guardian is recommended, we are here to help.

CoG serves as:

  • General Guardian
  • Guardian of the Estate
  • Guardian of the Person

At CoG, we recognize that guardianship has a profound impact on the people subject to it, as well as on their families and communities. Guardianship should never be contemplated without first giving full consideration to the alternatives.

Click here to learn more about CoG’s guardianship philosophy

Request Information

Do you or someone you know need decision-making support? To discuss your guardianship needs, please click below. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Guardian?

Guardianship is a legal process, utilized when a person can no longer make or communicate safe or sound decisions about his/her person and/or property or has become susceptible to fraud or undue influence. A Guardian is a 1) person, 2) institution, or 3) agency appointed by a court to manage the affairs of another individual when that person is unable to manage his or her personal needs or property because of a mental disability. Guardianship is a commitment to be responsible for and protect the interests of an incapacitated individual. In many instances the intervention of the Guardian will remove a person from a situation where they are being neglected, abused, or exploited by others.

What is the difference between Durable Powers-of-Attorney & Guardianship?
How does Corporation of Guardianship serve as Guardian?

Corporation of Guardianship (CoG) serves as Guardian for the most vulnerable members of the NC community. We serve people who have developmental and intellectual disabilities, those with dementia, and people who have suffered severe brain trauma. 

Beyond fulfilling the legal requirements of these services, we strive to deliver the greatest quality of life, autonomy, and freedom possible to clients under the law using a person-centered approach, based on the philosophy that choices made on another person’s behalf are to be enabling rather than restricting for the client. While traditional guardianship is system-driven, person-centered philosophy is a person-directed process that maintains focus on the positives of a person’s life, discovering gifts, skills and capacities of the individual, and staying mindful of the person’s priorities of life. As Guardian, we can help find a balance in people’s lives between what is important to them and what is important for them. CoG adheres to and follows the guidelines of the National Guardianship Association.

What are the different types of Guardianships?
  • Guardianship of the Estate – Gives the Guardian the authority to make all financial decisions for the individual.
  • Guardianship of the Person – Gives the Guardian the authority to make day-to-day decisions of a personal nature, except financial decisions, on behalf of the individual. Such decisions would include making arrangements for food, clothing, living arrangements, medical care, recreation, and education.
  • Guardianship of Person and Estate (General Guardian) – Gives the Guardian the authority to make nearly all decisions for the individual and combines the authority of guardianship of person and guardianship of estate.
I am the Guardian of my disabled adult child. Can CoG serve as his or her Guardian when I’m no longer able?

Parents can recommend CoG to serve as Successor Guardian for their adult son or daughter. It is important to speak to a professional attorney about how to formally make this recommendation in estate-planning documents.

What is the guardianship process?

A Guardian must be appointed by the court. In order for someone to have a Guardian appointed to them, that person must be declared legally incompetent by the court and, therefore, found in need of a Guardian. The person in question needs to be carefully examined by a medical, geriatric, or psychiatric specialist who can testify to the person’s incapacity. Someone must petition the local clerk of court to have the person adjudicated (declared) incompetent. Anyone who knows the person may petition, be it a family member, neighbor, mental health professional, Department of Social Services employee, etc.

Do I need legal assistance in order to petition for guardianship?

Officially, no –– an attorney is not required in order to file a guardianship petition. However, entering court without an attorney is not for the faint of heart. Incompetency hearings can be difficult and adversarial. Seeking a qualified attorney’s assistance is recommended. 

CoG cannot assist you in petitioning the court, although we are happy to discuss your situation and the possibility of serving as Guardian if the court approves one.

Are there alternatives to guardianship?

Because the appointment of a Guardian is an intrusive measure that takes away a person’s ability to make decisions about his or her life, other options which place fewer restrictions on the person with a disability should be considered first. These options include powers-of-attorney, trusts, representative payees, limited guardianships, and case management.

Does the Corporation of Guardianship charge a fee for this service?

Yes, CoG is a fee-for-service nonprofit organization. By charging a fee for the services provided for those who are able to pay, CoG is able to continue serving clients who run out of financial resources during their lifetime.

Testimonials

"Corporation of Guardianship is such a special agency. They provide person centered services and care deeply for their client’s and their community. I have the privilege of working with the staff often as they are leaders in our county’s fight against elder abuse and without a doubt prevent abuse across the state through their much needed services. I would trust Corporation of Guardianship to serve my family or myself as they care for their clients like family."
Heather Magill
Elder Justice Specialist Coordinator - Guilford County Family Justice Center
"As an RN Care Manager, I have partnered with Corporation of Guardianship over the past 10 years to assist several mutual clients. As advocates, their team is dedicated to their clients, navigating family situations with tact and professionalism. They truly put the clients’ needs first, even when faced with challenging obstacles. There is not another guardianship agency in the Triangle I would call except the Corporation of Guardianship; they exceed my expectations every time."
Rausa McManus, RN, BSN, CCM
President - LifePro Care Management
"I always find [CoG] goes above the expected. Each time we complete a goal, they are always looking for the next thing they can help with. When someone from the Corporation of Guardianship says they are going to do something, it gets done."
Family Member of Special Needs Trust Beneficiary Served since 2014
"Corporation of Guardianship’s compassion for their clients far exceed that of most companies."
Financial Advisor
Pinnacle Financial Partners
“It has been such a pleasure working with Corporation of Guardianship. Their team is caring, knowledgeable and responsive. Their commitment to the individuals and families they help support is unparalleled.”
Allison Sanders
VP of Business Development - Special Considerations
"CoG makes a positive difference because the staff truly treats each client as if they were their own family – many of whom (clients) have no other family!"
Marquita P. Laughlin, MA, MSW, LCSW
Home & Community Based Care Social Worker - U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
"CoG provides unparrelleled advocacy to those they serve; CoG gives individuals with disabilities the support they need to achieve the highest quality of life"
Tina Glenn
Director - First Light Home Care
"Working side by side with The Corporation of Guardianship (CoG) has been a valued partnership throughout the years. As a home care agency, Options for Senior America has been able to see the impact that the CoG has had on their clients. They are able to provide a continuum of care that keeps their clients safe and in the right hands. Being able to witness firsthand, the dedication that they have to their clients and families has been nothing short of amazing. They have always been available, professional, and reliable. Options will always support the Corporation Guardianship and what they do for older adults and those with disabilities!"
Jered Yalung, Pharm.D.
VP of Marketing and Operations - Options for Senior America