In North Carolina, guardianship is the appointment of someone by the court to assist a person who is not in a position to manage their affairs, either physically and/or mentally. In North Carolina, it is unfortunately called adjudication of incompetence. State law defines incompetence as an adult who does not have capacity to manage his own affairs, or to make or communicate important decisions. Often this is a result of mental illness, dementia, an accident or stroke, or some condition that causes that person to lose the ability to handle the general business of life.
Guardians must act in the best interest of the ward at all times.
A Guardian of the Person is one who is to make provision for the ward’s care and comfort and maintenance. This includes making decisions in terms of living arrangements, health care, and things which directly affect the ward.
A Guardian of the Estate is someone who is responsible for handling assets of the ward. It is a fiduciary duty, and this individual must be bonded and provide annual accountings to the Clerk of Court, accounting for every penny in and out of the Guardianship Account.
These may be two separate people; when one person is both Guardian of the Person and Guardian of the Estate, he is known as the General Guardian.