In some cases an individual may not be able to look after their property or their health. For these individuals we can assist them in attaining a court-appointed guardian. A guardian is under a duty to oversee the wards, i.e., the incompetent individual's, property and/or personal well-being. There are two types of guardians:
1.) Guardian Of The Person - The guardian is entitled to custody of the ward. Personal needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and health are the responsibility of the guardian.
2.) Guardian Of Property - The guardian is entitled to possession of all the ward's estate in trust for the ward's use. Financial needs such as contract fulfillment, insurance, debts, spending, and business are the responsibility of the guardian.
The Guardianship Process:
Although courts may differ, the following is the generally process for obtaining a guardianship: If it is determined that an individual is in need of a guardianship, then we will file a petition with the court and a hearing date will be set. Prior to the hearing the requisite notice requirements are fulfilled and the court may appoint a guardian-ad-litem, court personnel, or another specialist to interview and investigate the matter. At the hearing the court will listen to the evidence presented by our attorney and others. Then the court will make a decision. Possible outcomes include, but are not limited to, appointment of a limited guardian, appointment of a general guardian, or dismissal of the case. There is an appeal process.
Moreover, if a guardianship is no longer needed, a restoration hearing may be warranted. This occurs when the individual is not longer incompetent and can handle their own affairs. Our office can advise and assist you in regain control over your property and personal affairs.
Guardianship is the most severe form of judicial intervention under civil law, excepting only involuntary commitment. Because of the drastic nature of guardianship, our firm takes very seriously the need for dedicated, caring advocacy in the establishment and administration of guardianships or conservatorships. Our firm also has significant experience in litigating the offensive or defensive positions in the adversarial process. Our involvement in the guardianship process is in various ways:
- When a person's diminished capacity requires formal court guardianship, we can counsel the family about the legal issues involved, and start the guardianship process to determine the need for a guardian and get one appointed.
- At times we represent persons who are opposed to the proposed guardianship. In those situations, the guardianship process becomes an adversarial proceeding, in which we will seek to prove to the court that a guardianship is not appropriate.
- We represent family members who agree that a guardianship is appropriate, but who do not agree with the proposed choice of guardian by the court. In those types of contested guardianship appointments, our firm advocates for our client's ability to best serve the incompetent person's interests.
- After the guardianship has been established, we advise individual and corporate guardians concerning their powers and responsibilities in administering the guardianship estate, including the filing of inventories and accounting's with the court.
|Responsibilities of Guardians Booklet||Booklet provided by the Court regarding the Responsibilties of Guardians|
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