Wards of Court

If it happens that a person becomes unable to manage his/her assets because of a mental incapacity an application may be made by way of petition to the High Court to have this person made a ward of court. The judge will then make a decision as to whether the person is in fact capable of managing his or her own property and that decision is influenced by two medical reports that are presented. If the petition is successful a committee is appointed. The purpose of the committee is to control the ward’s property and make decisions on behalf of the ward. The Court must be satisfied that the person is of unsound mind and incapable of managing his or her own affairs.

When making the application to the High Court, information should be provided about the ward concerning his or her medical condition; next of kin; assets; and income. The application is made by way of affidavit and there is no need for the committee to be present when the application is being made. If, however, the ward objects then a further enquiry will be held before a jury. In order for a person to object that person must sign an objection notice and have the signatures witnessed by a solicitor.

The costs of a wardship are awarded by the court and usually come out of the assets of the person who is being made a ward of court.