State Guardianships Forms
State Guardianships Forms
A court appoints a legal guardian to make legal decisions for someone who can't make their own decisions. That person is called a ward and usually has an incapacity. Incapacities include age, developmental disabilities, and severe mental illness. If a person with an incapacity cannot make their own decisions because of their incapacity, the court can appoint a guardian.
Guardians make legal decisions for the ward. Healthcare, finances, and housing are a few decisions a guardian makes. There are different types of guardianships. The type selected depends on the ward's circumstances. For example, guardianship of a minor is appropriate when the ward is a minor child. A guardian of the person applies to adult guardianships. A temporary guardianship is suitable for short-term needs.
The process of appointing a guardian is complex. Interested parties can file a court petition to start the process. Although some courts offer legal guardianship forms for free online, prospective guardians should seek legal advice.
This article will provide an overview of the legal process to appoint a legal guardian and a list of guardianship forms by state.
Guardianship proceedings begin when someone files a petition to appoint a guardian with the court. Then the court may schedule a hearing after the petition is filed. All interested parties will receive a notice of hearing. This is only the beginning.
The court must determine if the ward has an incapacity and if it interferes with their decision-making. The court will order an independent examination to confirm the incapacity.
The court investigator will investigate the proposed guardian. The purpose of this investigation is to vet the proposed guardian. The court can appoint a guardian ad litem to look after the ward's best interests.
After the final hearing, the court will appoint a guardian, if necessary. The court does so through court orders or letters of guardianship. The order appointing a guardian gives the guardian specific authority over the ward's life. For example, a guardian of a minor can apply for benefits, including child support for the minor child. Guardians account for their activities in an annual report.
Guardianship forms will differ from state to state. Some states offer fillable forms, which allow the petitioner to fill out the legal forms online. They can then print the documents and cover sheet and submit them to the court with the filing fee. If a party cannot afford the filing fee, they should request a waiver.
These forms ask for general information about the person who needs a guardian. This includes their name, age, and address. If the potential ward has a power of attorney, enclose it with the form. There is space to state why a guardian is needed and to nominate a guardian. Some forms provide a checklist for the proposed guardian's powers. Finally, since guardianship should be the least restrictive alternative, the court may ask for alternatives to guardianship.
Guardianship Forms by State
The following are the online resources to help you access the necessary state guardianship forms:
Get Legal Help
Guardianship cases are complex. Speak to an experienced local family law attorney for help completing guardianship forms and more.
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