A Guardian is appointed to care for someone when that person is declared mentally incapable of caring for themself. In Israel, this procedure is handled in the “Family Court” in the jurisdiction of the person in need of a Guardian.
Appointing a Guardian can be a complex and bureaucratic procedure. The Guardian is appointed by the court, which determines whether the guardianship is for a specific matter, for medical reasons, personal, or financial matters, and the Guardian is required to submit reports to the court.
The first report (a פרטה) lists all the assets and liabilities of the person for whom one is acting as a Guardian, and it must be submitted within 30 days of the guardianship appointment. A similar report needs to be submitted every year thereafter as long as the appointment continues.
Sometimes the appointment creates a lot of tension within the family until the court is forced to appoint an external and neutral Guardian who does not know the person in need of guardianship at all.
The court tends to limit the appointment as much as possible and for as short a period of time as possible. The Guardian appointed may request of the court that they be relieved of their duty, such as in cases of relocation or if they can no longer manage the duties and responsibilities required of them. A judge also has the authority to replace the Guardian if they are making poor decisions or are neglecting their duties.
Preliminary Instructions for guardianship:
It is possible for one to prepare a document in advance requesting a specific person to be nominated by the court as your Guardian, in the event that one will be needed. In addition, you can also include instructions for the Guardian on how he should act on your behalf.
The document must be deposited with the Administrator-General whilst you are still in full cognitive control, but the document will only come into effect when the court has decided that you can no longer take care of yourself and a Guardian needs to be appointed for you.
In principle, the court will take your wishes into consideration and will appoint a Guardian and order him/her to act according to the instructions you had previously submitted.
Deviation from your wishes is given in exceptional cases only, for example:
1. The instruction is impossible to implement.
2. In the event that the court believes that compliance with the instructions will cause real harm to the person who wrote them.
If the person had submitted an Enduring Power of Attorney at the Administer General, the court will most likely prefer the Enduring Power of Attorney and discuss this option first before appointing a Guardian.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter and is not a substitute for legal consultation. Specific legal advice should be sought in accordance with the particular circumstances.