Substituted Judgment (Guardianship) Law and Legal Definition

Substituted judgment generally is a decision made by a person on behalf of a person who is incompetent and unable to decide for himself or herself.

Substituted judgment with regard to guardianship is the standard that directs the decision making of a guardian. Substituted judgment requires taking of a decision by the guardian who s/he believes the ward would prefer based on the ward's previously expressed preferences. A decision has to be made or is required to be made implementing the course of action in conformity with a ward's known wishes expressed prior to the appointment of the guardian. It is possible only if a ward was once capable of developing views relevant to the matter at issue. Current opinions and desires of the ward may also be examined and are relevant to a determination of the ward's views prior to appointment of the guardian or representative payee.