Guardianship of the Person
Gives the guardian the ability to make all decisions of a more personal nature (i.e., all decisions except financial decisions) on behalf of the ward. Such decisions would include such things as medical consents, consents to IHPs (individual habilitation plans), consent to participate in Special Olympics, to have a photo of the individual used, etc.
Plenary Guardianship, or
Guardianship of Person and Estate
Gives the guardian the ability to make nearly all decisions for the individual, and combines the authority of Guardianship of Person and Guardianship of Estate.
Allows a court to intervene to appoint someone on short notice. Probate courts are often reluctant to appoint emergency guardians.
Allows a court to appoint someone on a temporary or interim basis because the former guardian is no longer available.
Guardian ad litem
Is a different type of guardianship where a guardian is appointed for the very specific purpose of representing a minor or someone who is allegedly incompetent during the course of a particular type of litigation. A guardian ad litem’s authority ends when the litigation ends.
Is where two people are appointed to act as guardian for someone at the same time. In other words, two people share the guardianship responsibilities. Co-guardianship is probably not a good idea in a divorce situation, or a situation where there is animosity between the potential co-guardians.