Guardianship Laws

Adult Guardianship Statute: 
Right to Counsel in Statute: Initial Guardianship Proceedings: 
Right to Counsel in Statute: Post-Appointment Guardianship Proceedings: 
Not stated
Right to Counsel Statututory Citation: 
Right to Counsel Definition in Statute: 

" . . . in all cases where a guardian of the person or guardian of the property of an adult with a disability is sought, the person with an alleged disabiity shall be entitled to representation by counsel." Del. Code Ann. Tit. 12, § 3901(c).

Advocacy Role of Counsel Defined in Statute: 
Not stated
Professional Rules &/or Ethics Opinions: 

If an attorney has a reasonable and objective basis to doubt a client's competency to make a decision foregoing further appeals, the attorney must, in a timely fashion, so inform the trial court and request the court to make a judicial determination of the defendant's competency. See Del. R. Prof. Conduct, Rule 1.14(b).

Case Law Discussing Role of Counsel: 

Where the lawyer's actions appear contrary to the client's stated decision, the lawyer who so moves, presumably in good faith, must at a minimum, demonstrate an objective and reasonable basis for believing that the client cannot act in his own interest."Red Dog v, State, 625 A.2d 245 (Del. 1993).

Other Important Info: 

Delaware has statutes concerning voluntary and involuntary sterilization. For involuntary sterilization an individual is entitled to legal counsel. See Del. Code Ann. Tit. 16 § 5701-5714. "Whenever an infant or incompetent person has a representative, such as a general guardian, trustee, commitee, conservator, or other like fiduciary, the representative may sue or defent on behalf of the infant or incompetent person. An infant or incompetent person who does not have a duly appointed representative may sue by a next friend or by a guardian ad litem. The court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for an infant or incompetent person not otherwise represented in an action or shall make such other order as it deems proper for the protection of the infant or incompetent person."Del.R.Civ.P. Rule 17. "The guardianship of the person or property, or both, of any person with a disability for reasons other than minority shall continue until the death of the person with a disability or until terminated by the Court of Chancery upon application of the guardian, the person with a disability, or any other party."Del. Code Tit. 12 § 3909(c).

Discuss Guardianship or Supported Decision-Making?: