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Emergency guardianship refers to the method of emergency appointment of a guardian by the court during the existence of the emergency situation. A brief hearing regarding the requirement for appointment of an emergency guardian would be held by the court. In order for the court to grant an emergency guardianship, the prospective guardian has to make a good case as to why the action is needed by detailing what harm is likely to be prevented by the appointment. While granting emergency guardianship, the court determines whether supposed ward is unable to make an emergency decision because of mental disability or some other reasons. The court must also consider whether the person is at risk of serious harm or even death if emergency guardianship is not granted. It should determine if any other person is available, who can take decision for the incapacitated person. The court may also consider the competency and character of a temporary guardian. Procedures for appointing emergency guardians vary widely depending on the court and country.
Emergency guardianship of minors is awarded to temporary guardians in situations where natural parents have lost their natural guardian status due to death or the abandonment or abuse of the minor. In cases where an adult requires emergency guardianship, the incompetence must be detailed in the intended guardian's application to the court. The court has to be convinced as to the reasons of the adult being incapable of making his/her own decisions.
The areas of authority of an emergency or temporary guardian would be specified in the court order. Emergency guardianship is usually time-limited and is renewable only after a full guardianship proceeding. The guardian must file a report with the court detailing the nature of the services rendered and the result of the guardianship.