Guardianship: What you need to know

Whether you are responsible for someone who is developmentally disabled, incapacitated or mentally unstable, or a child who has lost his or her parents, you may file for guardianship of that person. When you file for guardianship, you are asking the court to give you permission to make critical legal, medical, financial and personal decisions on behalf of someone who is unable to make those decisions for themselves. You must be approved by the court to be named a guardian of another person. You must also be a citizen of the United States, over 18 years of age and have a clean criminal record. Ultimately, it is up to the judge’s discretion as to whether you would be a good guardian for the person in question.

The judge may give you guardianship over the person, guardianship over the person’s estate or guardianship over both. In addition to making decisions for the person you are representing, you may be responsible for handling a person’s estate and property. As an estate guardian, you may need to make decisions regarding investments, savings, property and other financial issues. The judge presiding over the case will determine what type of help the ward, or the person needing help, requires, as well as whether you would be a trustworthy person to perform these duties on behalf of the ward.

It is important to keep in mind that the judge will make his or her decision based on the best interests of the ward.

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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Joseph A. Ledwidge, P.C.
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Joseph A. Ledwidge, P.C.