Guardianship is a legal process granting authority to an appointed individual to make decisions for someone who cannot care for themselves. This can include children whose parents are unable to provide adequate care or adults who are incapacitated due to various reasons. In this blog, we will explore the purpose and types of guardianship and valuable insights from any experienced guardianship attorney.
What is Guardianship?
Guardianship involves obtaining legal authority to make decisions on behalf of another person, known as the “protected person.” A guardian is the individual the court appoints to make decisions for the protected person.
Why Might a Guardianship Be Needed?
There are situations where parents are unable to care for their children, and a guardianship may be required. Additionally, if a child inherits assets, such as life insurance or cash accounts, a guardian over the child’s estate may be needed to protect these assets until the child reaches adulthood.
Similarly, an adult may require guardianship if they are incapacitated due to mental illness, mental deficiency, disease, or mental incapacity. It is important to note that guardianship is not the only option in such cases, and alternative solutions may be considered.
Types of Guardianship:
- Guardianship over the Person: This type of guardianship grants the guardian the responsibility for the well-being and care of the protected person. The guardian can make personal and medical decisions, including healthcare, living arrangements, and educational choices for children.
- Guardianship over the Estate: This type of guardianship allows the guardian to make financial decisions on behalf of the protected person. Court approval is typically required for any spending or selling of assets, even after guardianship is granted.
- Guardianship over the Person and Estate: This comprehensive type of guardianship empowers the guardian to make personal, medical, and financial decisions for the protected person.
It is crucial to understand that being a guardian over the estate does not grant absolute power to control the protected person’s assets and finances. The guardian must seek court approval for any expenses or transactions and often keep the person’s money in a “blocked account” accessible only through a court order.
Where to File for Guardianship:
To initiate a guardianship case, it is generally required to file in the county where the proposed protected person has resided for the past six months. However, exceptions exist, and it’s advisable to seek legal advice when deciding where to file for guardianship for someone who hasn’t lived in Nevada for six months or more.
Duration of Guardianship:
A guardianship over an adult lasts until the person can care for themselves or until their passing. For minors, court-ordered guardianship typically lasts until they turn 18. However, if the child does not graduate high school until the age of 19, they and the guardian can request an extension until graduation or their 19th birthday, whichever comes first.
It’s important to note that the guardian or any other relative can request the termination of guardianship when it is no longer necessary.
Insights from Experienced Guardianship Attorneys:
Experienced guardianship attorneys play a vital role in guiding individuals through the complex process of guardianship. They help assess the specific circumstances, understand the legal requirements, and ensure that the protected person’s best interests are served.
Guardianship attorneys can also provide valuable advice on alternatives to guardianship and assist with the necessary documentation and court proceedings.
Guardianship is a legal mechanism designed to protect and care for individuals who cannot decide for themselves. Understanding the purpose and types of guardianship is essential for anyone considering or involved in the guardianship process.
Seeking guidance from experienced guardianship attorneys can provide valuable insights to ensure the protected person’s best interests are upheld, and the process is done smoothly. For more in-depth information and guardianship assistance, we recommend contacting Haynes Melbye Law Office.