Developmentally Disabled Individuals

The Probate Court handles cases involving Individuals with a Developmental Disability who require a guardian. The guardianship establishes a relationship between the guardian and the developmentally disabled individual similar to that of a parent and child, with duties and responsibilities to that individual as determined by the Probate Court. A prospective Guardian may be nominated by petition (filed with the Probate Court) or may be named in a will. A guardian may be appointed as partial or plenary "guardian of the person" and/or "guardian of the estate". The petition should be filed with the Probate Court in the county of residence of the individual with the alleged disability, or in the county in which the individual was found if a county of residence cannot be determined. The petition should be accompanied by a report with current evaluations (performed in the last year) from a physician or psychologist who is trained or experienced in assessing an individual's mental, physical, social and educational condition, adaptive behavior, and social skills.

Any of the following may file a petition for guardianship of an individual with a developmental disability: The individual with a developmental disability, an adult relative or friend of the individual, an official or representative of a public or private agency, corporation or association concerned with the individual's welfare, or any other person found suitable by the Court

Once filed the petition will be set for hearing. There is no filing fee. Be aware that you may not file a petition for guardianship of a legally incapacitated person under the Estates & Protected Individuals Code if the person is developmentally disabled.

The processing of the petition could take several hours, and it is recommended that the filer be at the Probate counter by 3pm to allow time to process the petition. Completed petitions will not be accepted for same day processing after 4pm.

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