New Mexico Guardianships
When a person becomes incapacitated, it is often necessary for someone to be appointed by a court to oversee their affairs. Typically such incapacity comes later in life in the form of Alzheimer's or other neurological forms of dementia, and is usually characterized by a gradual, long-term decline in memory and cognitive functioning. Other common symptoms include, disorientation (both as to time and location), mood swings, and an inability to handle one's finances.
Often in such cases of incapacity, there is an accompanying risk of harm to the person (or to the person's estate). It is not uncommon for such incapacitated persons to be taken advantage of by wrongdoers.
In such cases, a means of protecting such incapacitated persons is to establish a Guardianship so that somebody (the Guardian) can make healthcare decisions, residential placement decisions, and other life care decisions. If the incapacitated person's finances are in jeopardy, somebody is also appointed as Conservator to make financial decisions.
Note that in New Mexico, whenever a court establishes a Guardianship or a Conservatorship, the court must always be guided by the best interests of the incapacitated person. Additionally, Guardianships and Conservatorships must always be limited so as to maximize the freedom and independence of the protected person.