Guardianship is a legal process used to protect persons who are unable to care for their own well-being due to infancy, disability or incapacity. The need for guardianship is clear in the following circumstances:
- When a parent or parents(s) are unable to care for a child or children.
- When an adult is incapacitated, a guardian may be appointed.
- In the case of a developmentally disabled person, a Guardian Advocate may be appointed.
Basically, when a person is not able to take care of themselves or make reasonable decisions on their own, a guardian may be necessary.
Who Can Serve as Guardian?
The following are qualifications for service as a guardian:
- The would-be guardian may have no felony convictions.
- The would-be guardian is not physically or mentally incapacitated or incapable of making sound decisions.
- The would-be guardian has no other glaring impediments that prevent them from serving as an effective guardian.
The guardian is court appointed. The court will always look into the potential guardian’s history and run background checks. Guardians are also required to complete a court-approved guardianship course.
Sometimes corporations, like a non-profit, may serve as a guardian. This is especially true for corporate entities that specialize in serving the disabled.
Bank trusts can serve as guardians but only in the case of property and not as guardian for an individual.
Types Of Guardian
Guardianship & Guardian Advocacy
Typically, guardianship is appointed when involving a minor or an adult who is incapacitated. Guardianship Advocacy is appointed when a disabled person reaches the age of 18 and parents no longer have legal authority.
In general, the process of guardianship is more stringent than guardian advocacy and the would-be guardian will need to hire an attorney. Hiring an attorney with plenty of experience in guardianship law is essential in this scenario.