Guardian Review Program

The Guardian Review Program (GRP) was established to assist the Probate Court with monitoring the quality of care for the people who have been placed under guardianship/conservatorship.

Objectives of the program include reducing the potential for the abuse of vulnerable elderly and disabled wards, educating fiduciaries about their responsibilities as guardians and conservators, and increasing the community's awareness of the guardianship system and the problems faced by incapacitated persons.

The Guardian Review Program was one of the first pilot programs nationally to utilize volunteers for guardianship monitoring.

How it Works

The Probate Court appoints guardians and conservators for persons who, due to physical or mental disabilities, need help in making decisions about their daily lives. While most guardians and conservators undertake their duties conscientiously, in some cases they do not live up to the court's expectations and fail to arrange for the care people need or fail to administer their funds responsibly. Prior to the establishment of this cooperative program, there was no consistent way to determine if the guardian or conservator was providing good care or if the guardianship was still necessary.

The Maricopa County Superior Court wants to ensure that every adult person under a guardianship/conservatorship receives good care. That's where you may be able to help. The court needs concerned volunteers who can assist by monitoring active guardianship cases. For more detailed information, please feel free to email all inquiries to

View the Guardianship and Conservatorship process.

More information can be found at Frequently Asked Questions or the Probate definitions pages.

Case Types

The Court appoints a guardian and/or conservator on a temporary or emergency basis for a period of not more than 6 months if there is a need to have a guardian and/or conservator temporarily and/or immediately.

You may submit a petition to adopt an adult if:

  • You, or the person you are asking to adopt, are a resident of the county where you are filing this request.
  • You want to ask the Court to adopt either another adult person who is at least 18 years of age and not more than 21 years of age; OR
  • You want to ask the Court to adopt an adult person who is your stepchild, niece, nephew, cousin or grandchild; OR
  • You are a foster parent, and want to ask the Court to adopt an adult person who was placed in your care as a juvenile, and you have maintained a familial relationship with that person for five or more years, AND
  • The adult you are asking to adopt consents to the adoption, AND
  • (If applicable) The spouse of the Adopter and/or Adoptee consent to the adoption, AND
  • (If applicable) You understand that any name change that results from this adoption will neither harm your rights nor release you from any obligations or liabilities incurrent from your current name.

A guardian is someone who has the legal authority to care for another. A conservator is someone who manages another's financial affairs. To qualify for a guardian and/or conservator, an adult person must be "incapacitated", which the Court refers to as a ward. Therefore, he/she must lack sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning oneself or finances.

Reasons for a Guardianship and Conservatorship

  • Mental Illness
  • Mental deficiency
  • Mental disorder
  • Physical illness or disability
  • Chronic use of drugs
  • Chronic intoxication or other cause

A guardian may be appointed for an adult either by will or by court appointment. Upon finding that an individual lacks capacity, the Court appoints a competent person (guardian) to make decisions on behalf of the individual (ward). The guardian becomes the substitute decision-maker for the ward in any or all areas that the ward lacks capacity. A guardianship deprives a person of his/her civil rights; therefore, the Court must find that no lesser restrictive alternative exists.

Several individuals can serve as a conservator for an adult. Conservators of adults typically include a family member, a friend, a private conservator, or the Maricopa County Public Fiduciary. Individuals usually file for conservatorships because a person is unable to manage estate and affairs due to illness, deficiency, an accident, or Alzheimer.

Typically, the petition to appoint a conservator for a minor includes:

  • A personal injury settlement
  • A parent as the conservator
  • A restricted account
  • A proof of restricted account filed
  • No withdrawals of funds without court order
  • A petition to terminate conservatorship at the age of 18

Probate and Mental Health Presiding Judge
Andrew Klein

Sheila Tickle
Sheila Tickle
Probate and Mental Health Administrator
Contact Probate and Mental Health

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