Free Online Resource for Adult Guardianship: North Carolina Guardianship Manual


Charlotte Law Library is continuing a series of blogs on the free online resources available on the website of the North Carolina Court System Office of Indigent Defense Services (NCIDS).

This blog will focus on the North Carolina Guardianship Manual  available for free online as a pdf.

“This manual discusses the role and responsibilities of attorneys who are appointed to represent allegedly incapacitated respondents in adult guardianship proceedings. It summarizes and analyzes relevant provisions of North Carolina’s guardianship law (Chapter 35A of the North Carolina General Statutes) and discusses in depth the standards for determining incapacity, appointment of guardians, and other significant aspects of guardianship proceedings.”

Here is the Table of Contents:

North Carolina Guardianship Manual

Title Page, Table of Contents, and Preface
Chapter 1: Overview of Adult Guardianship
Chapter 2: Appointment of Attorney as Guardian ad Litem
Chapter 3: Jurisdiction and Venue
Chapter 4: Parties, Pleadings, and Notice
Chapter 5: Hearings, Practice, and Procedure
Chapter 6: Incapacity
Chapter 7: Appointment of Guardians
Chapter 8: Mediation of Adult Guardianship Cases
Chapter 9: Appeal of Guardianship Orders
Chapter 10: Modification and Termination of Guardianship Orders


This manual is an invaluable resource for those who work in adult guardianship cases.  Just look at how this resource is packed with practical information!

Here is the Table of Contents of a typical chapter:

Chapter 1:

Overview of Adult Guardianship

1.1 Scope of this Manual

1.2 Scope of this Chapter

1.3 Adult Guardianship Terminology

1.4 Nature and Purpose of Adult Guardianship

A. Definition of Guardianship

B. Purpose of Guardianship

C. Personal Autonomy

D. Presumption of Capacity

E. Balancing Personal Autonomy vs. Protection of Incapacitated Persons

F. The Guardian-Ward Relationship

1.5 Guardianship Law in North Carolina

A. Guardianship Law Before 1977

B. The 1977 Amendments to G.S. Chapter 35

C. The 1987 Enactment of G.S. Chapter 35A

D. The Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act

1.6 Overview of Adult Guardianship Proceedings

A. Jurisdiction

B. Procedure

C. Determining Incapacity and Appointing a Guardian

D. Qualification, Powers, and Duties of Guardians

E. Appeal

F. Modification and Termination of Guardianship

1.7 Legal Consequences of Guardianship

A. Presumption of Incapacity

B. General Legal Status and Rights of Wards Under Plenary Guardianship

C. Specific Legal Rights That Are or May Be Retained by Incapacitated Wards

D. Specific Legal Rights That Are or Probably Are Lost by Incapacitated Wards

E. Legal Rights of Wards Under Limited Guardianship

F. Statutory Powers of Guardians and Limitations on the Powers of Guardians

1.8 Relationship of G.S. Ch. 35A to Other Laws

A. Incapacity Determinations in Other Civil and Criminal Proceedings

B. Appointment of Guardian ad Litem under Rule 17

C. Adult Protective Services2 Chapter 1: Overview of Adult Guardianship

D. Involuntary Civil Commitment

E. Capacity and Insanity in Criminal Proceedings

F. Veterans’ Guardianship Act

G. Durable Power of Attorney

H. Health Care Power of Attorney

I. Informed Consent for Medical Treatment

J. Appointment of Representative Payee

Appendix 1-1 Additional Resources

Look for this symbol for future blogs on free online resources:


Come see us in the library for more resources in print and online.

~Mary Susan Lucas~

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