Guardianship & Consent
Parents are the natural guardian of their children until they reach the age of 18. What happens when a disabled child reaches their 18th birthday or when an adult becomes disabled either due to an injury or medical condition? That is one when petitions the court to be appointed guardian. A guardianship is a legal relationship created when a person or institution named in a will is assigned by the court to take care of minor children or incompetent adults. Guardians are appointed by the court after the person seeking guardianship files the necessary papers with the court and after a hearing.
Guardianships take away the incompetent person’s rights to make their own decisions. The judge does not have to honor the request when someone is named in a will as guardian of one’s child in case of the death of the parent, it is construed as a preference, but is usually honored. The term “guardian” may also refer to someone who is appointed to care for and/or handle the affairs of a person who is incompetent or incapable of administering his/her affairs.
The guardian will be granted only those powers necessary to accomplish for the ward what the ward cannot accomplish independently. These powers may include assuring the availability and maintenance of care for the ward, making sure that educational and medical services are maintained and adequate, and submitting updates to the court of the ward’s condition. These court updates describe the ward’s living situation, status of mental and physical health based upon medical examinations and official records, provide a list of services being received by the ward, describe services rendered by the guardian, account for the ward’s monetary assets, and any other information necessary to submit to the court in order for it to assess the status of the ward and the guardian’s duties.
In some cases, a guardian may be reimbursed for attorney fees related to the guardianship. Court rules regarding accountings of expenses and requirements of guardians are very specific and carefully written to protect the incompetent person. vary and local court rules should be consulted. Guardians must not benefit at the expense of those they care for, and in many cases are required to make accountings to the court on a periodic basis.
How can we help?
- We can meet with you to discuss the situation, and the likelihood of successfully become in the guardian of an incapacitated person.
- We can assist in gathering all of the records necessary to prove the need for a guardian.
- We can arrange for the necessary medical and psychological evaluations of the incapacitated person
- We can prepare the necessary paperwork to file with the court (Petition) and the accompanying affidavits and medical expert reports.
- We will prepare you to give testimony to support the need for a guardianship and advocate for your appointment.
- We will handle the court appearances and represent your interests.
- Once appointed we can hep with the required annual court reporting and the preparation for an accounting.