Parents are the natural guardians of their children until those children turn 18 years old. If the parents are deceased, incarcerated, or unavailable for other reasons, a guardian may be necessary to enroll the child in school, consent to medical care, receive benefits, etc. Such guardianships of a minor child usually expire when the child turns 18 years old.
Adults (those over 18) may need a guardianship of either their person or property or both when mental or physical illness render them unable to make or communicate reasonable decisions regarding their care and/or finances. In the same way, a guardianship may be necessary to locate suitable housing, consent to medical care, and to ensure the individual’s finances are protected. Guardianships of adults last until the disability no longer exists or the individual passes away.
Guardians are considered fiduciaries and are held to a higher standard than other individuals when making decisions for the disabled person. In order to be appointed as a guardian, the court will have to make a decision as to whether the disabled person needs a guardian and whether the person applying to be a guardian is the best person to be appointed.
As the process of becoming a guardian can be complex, our experienced attorneys are available to guide you through this process.