If you become disabled because of a serious physical or mental condition, someone must have the authority to make the decisions about your medical and financial needs. If you have not assigned this role to someone through a power of attorney, a petition must be filed with the local probate court to nominate your guardian. The guardianship petition seeks to have you declared as incapacitated so another person can step in and make decisions on your behalf. This person may or may not be who you would otherwise choose. The guardianship procedure is in place so that a person’s physical and mental well-being are honored when he or she is no longer able to make sound decisions. All of this could be avoided through the execution of a well-drafted and carefully executed durable power of attorney.