You are asking if you need the person who will be the "ward" to sign in order to obtain guardianship? The answer is no in most situations I can think of - at least where I practice. Keep in mind that usually we are saying the person doesn't have legal capacity so if they are signing something you are in essence saying they don't understand what they are signing.
This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: http://www.stevenzelinger.com/
Guardianship and conservatorship are probate court proceedings. You do not need the proposed ward to sign anything. Of course, if the proposed ward has legal capacity, she can sign a durable power of attorney for health and financial matters, thereby avoiding the need for probate proceedings, and likely saving $2,000 or more. This should be handled by a lawyer. It is not expensive, if your mother has capacity.
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No, the proposed ward does not need to sign the Petition to have someone appointed their guardian/conservator. They can however, sign a nomination on the conservatorship petition indicating who they would like to serve as their conservator.
You may want to consider hiring an attorney to assist you with obtaining guardianship/conservatorship. Many of us offer a free phone consultation, so it's worth picking up the phone and getting some more information.