Taking care of a mentally incapacitated person: Guardianship or Committee

Guardianship – The application

  1. Application for guardianship can be made only by:

    1. a relative of the person concerned;
    2. a social worker;
    3. a registered medical practitioner; or 
    4. a public officer in the Social Welfare Department;

      and the applicant must have personally seen the person concerned within 14 days prior to the application.

  2. The requirements for application for guardianship are as follows:

    1. The applicant has to complete the prescribed form and lodge it with the Guardianship Board, together with written reports from two registered medical practitioners.
    2. The applicant must state in the application form the age of the person concerned.
    3. Of the two medical reports, at least one must be given by a medical practitioner approved by the Hospital Authority as having special experience in the diagnosis or treatment of mental disorders, or having special experience in the assessment or determination of a mental handicap, as the case may be. A list of the approved doctors can be found on the website of the Guardianship Board.

  3. Upon receiving an application for guardianship, the Guardianship Board will send copies of the application to the following persons:

    1. the person concerned, i.e. the person alleged to be mentally incapacitated;
    2. any relative of the person concerned whom the Guardianship Board considers fit, unless it is the relative who made the application; and
    3. the Director of Social Welfare, unless it is a public officer in the Social Welfare Department who made the application;

      so that these persons will have the chance to present their views to the Guardianship Board. 

  4. The Guardianship Board will also call for a social enquiry report from the Director of Social Welfare. This report must contain the views and wishes of the person concerned, insofar as they may be ascertained, and include an assessment of the his/her family background, and social and financial situation.