The best plan to avoid the possible need for a future imposition of court-ordered guardianships or conservatorships is by preparing valid, thorough legal documents while you can do so. These might include a Financial Power of Attorney, an Advance Healthcare Directive, or possibly a trust. But some individuals never plan, or they prepare legal documents that are insufficient.

In that case, it may be necessary for a person or the State of Maine to petition the Probate Court to appoint guardianships or conservatorships for the individual. The Probate Court will appoint a guardian for an individual who is incapacitated and unable to make or communicate responsible decisions regarding their physical needs. The Probate Court may appoint a conservator for an individual who cannot manage their money and property.