The fact that someone has some sort of diagnosis or disability does not automatically equate to the need for a guardian. The primary test for determining the need for guardianship focuses on the ability to make decisions, and to communicate the decisions once made. The essence of decisional capacity, which equates to the guardianship determination, may be encompassed in the following questions:
Does the individual understand that a decision needs to be made?
Dies the individual understand the options available in making a decision?
Does the individual understand the potential consequences of the decision and options?
Can the individual direct the decision to appropriate parties?
The areas of decision making on which most guardianships are focused are living conditions, medical care, vocations and educational services, ancillary professional services, caring for dependents, and managing finances.