What is a Ward of Court and Who Can Apply?

Applying for a family member or someone you know to become a Ward of Court is never an easy decision, and one that few take lightly.

In the case of an adult, a person can be deemed a Ward of Court should they be of unsound mind and incapable of managing their own affairs. In some cases, an individual can be taken in to wardship when they are deemed to be a threat to their own safety, usually arising in instances of mental incapacity.

Although most wards were traditionally taken care of in hospitals or nursing homes, many now live in the community with the help of home care. The individual and all their assets are taken under the jurisdiction of the High Court to be managed for their benefit.

How Does the Process Work?

The process by which someone is made a Ward of Court involves an individual contacting their solicitor to submit a document known as a Petition, outlining full details of the person who is be made a Ward of Court. These details will include the person’s assets, liabilities, and information of their direct relations.

The completed document will then be lodged to the Wards of Court office, along with two separate affidavits from two separate doctors stating that, in their view, the individual in question is no longer of sound mental capacity and is unable to manage their own affairs. The Wards of Court office will then arrange for an independent medical practitioner to verify the same. A hearing in the High Court will take place, and once the applicable orders are made, the person in question will become a Ward of Court and all future matters pertaining to that individual will be handled through the Wards of Court office.

Seeking Legal Counsel

Understandably, this course of action is a difficult one for many families to consider and can be both emotionally and mentally taxing without the appropriate guidance. Should you know someone who you believe needs to become a Ward of Court, or if you are simply seeking further information, please feel free to contact a member of our legal who will be able to take you through the necessary steps in the submission process.

* In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. *