What Is Guardianship?

The term "Guardianship" refers to one party, called the "Guardian", acting on behalf of an individual that is unable to manage his/her own financial affairs and health care needs. For a minor, the guardian is the appointed individual with whom the child will reside, when parent is no longer able to provide residency for the child. Often the term guardian is mistakenly used by an agent under a power of attorney that contains a nomination of guardian. Only a court can appoint a guardian. The term "Ward" refers to someone that the court has appointed a guardian.

Adults who need a guardian. When an individual is no longer is able to provide for themselves in making good decisions regarding their care and the handling of their finances a need for someone to help may end up in the probate court. It is usually a family member, a hospital or protective services who brings this matter to the court's attention. Such appointments may arise in time of emergency and most prospective clients are not sure what is required to be appointed a guardian and what their future as a guardian for another may involve. Our experienced lawyers can help navigate you through this process.

The court may appoint a guardian of the person, guardian of the estate, or both. You may be fingerprinted and questioned on your understanding of the role of guardian prior to or at the time you are appearing before the court on your application to serve as guardian.

  • Guardian of the person: Responsibilities include reporting abuse/neglect, communications with the ward, and meeting with the ward on a regular basis, making end-of-life decisions, filing guardian reports, coordinating/monitoring services for the ward, and making arrangements for the ward's medical needs.
  • Guardian of the estate: Responsibilities include obtaining bonding, managing ward's assets, listing of ward's assets for inventory, sale of ward's property, as well as applications for authority to release ward's funds and applications for authority to expend funds.

We work with clients who have a wide variety of needs revolving around guardianship duties and court required reports, motions and applications to expend funds, sell real estate and other matters as well as the filing of accounts.

Procedure for appointment of Guardian: There are many steps involved with becoming an appointed guardian. It usually begins with the filing of written application that includes a statement of expert evaluation and listing of next of kin for the proposed ward. The next of kin are parties to be notified or whose consent is acquired when making the application. The hearing consists of determination of whether a guardian is needed and what type of guardianship is required.

Call For Experienced Guardianship Advice

Learn more about how one of our experienced lawyers can help you and your family navigate through the guardianship process in a free initial consultation at our North Royalton law firm. Call 440-884-4300. To contact us through email, please complete the brief form.