Understanding How Guardianship Cases Work
Guardianship is the legal right to provide care and make decisions for another person, such as a minor or an adult who is unable to make decisions for themselves (an elderly or disabled person, for example). In many cases, the help of an attorney can make a significant difference in being able to attain guardianship in any capacity. For help seeking a guardianship in Ogden, UT, contact our attorneys at Froerer and Miles. Mr. Froerer has been practicing law since 1959 and is qualified to take on your case today.
What Is a Legal Guardian?
A legal guardian is vested with the legal authority to make decisions for another person. They are not only granted decision-making authority, but also have the duty to care for the person under the guardianship (the “ward”), as well as their property. The obligations of a legal guardian should not be taken on without serious consideration, because your decisions will directly impact your ward’s health, financial status, and property rights.
In order to be appointed as a legal guardian, you must make an application to the court and provide sufficient evidence that there is a need for a guardian. As attorneys very familiar with family law, we understand the process and what the courts require. During a free initial consultation, we can take a look at your personal situation and develop a strategy that is tailor made for your needs. We listen to the facts you present, and offer our guidance on how to best proceed, explaining every step along the way.
Once you have been appointed as a guardian, we will keep in contact with you to ensure you are comfortable with what is expected of you as a guardian.
Types of Guardianships
A guardianship can be useful for:
- Incapacitated persons: Guardianship is often recommended for elderly persons who are no longer capable of taking care of their day-to-day needs. In most cases, a child or younger sibling may take on the role of guardian and manage money for their incapacitated loved one. However, in order to prevent abuse, the first step to becoming guardian in this situation is to prove a person's incapacity. This can be accomplished through introduction of psychological or medical evaluations that can verify whether or not the potential ward can handle their daily affairs.
- Minors: A child's parents are automatically considered their legal guardians. However, other persons may be asked to take on this role in the event of their death. This is accomplished through careful estate planning: the parameters of the guardianship should be clear and easy to understand. There are different types of guardianships for minors and we can help you decide which type is needed for your specific circumstances.
- Disabled adults: When a physically or mentally disabled child is a minor, their parent is responsible for their care and financial support. But when that child transitions to adulthood, the same care and support is often needed. In these cases a guardian, or conservatorship, can be established for the disabled adult.
In each type of guardianship, the court is granted the power to appoint a person to act as guardian. If a finding is made that a legal guardian is not needed, the court may make alternate arrangements such as allowing a person to act as power of attorney or health care proxy over certain aspects of the ward’s life. The outcome of your case will depend on the evidence presented and the needs of the ward. Once you have been appointed as a guardian, we will keep in contact with you to ensure you are comfortable with what is expected of you as a guardian.
If you believe a loved one is in need of a legal guardian, or have specific questions about how a guardianship works, call the office of Froerer and Miles. We can be reached in Ogden, UT, at (801) 621-2690 or you may contact us online today.