GUARDIANSHIPS

 

There are two main forms of guardianship, guardianship over a minor and guardianship over an adult. Under the Uniform Code of Probate if the ward has assets the guardianship will be accompanied with a conservatorship.

The main reason to obtain guardianship over a minor child is when the biological parents are unable to care for the child. The guardianship may stem from a DCF intervention, a voluntary assent from the parents or due to death or sickness of the parents.  Also, where a minor child is to receive assets of value from an estate, insurance settlement, injury claim it may be necessary to appoint a conservator  to oversee the transfer of assets.

If the guardianship is agreed to by all parties and is determined that said guardianship is in the best interest of the child, the process is uncomplicated. It must be determined if temporary orders are required prior to the judgment of permanent guardianship. There are accounting duties which are placed on the conservator once the conservatorship  is approved.

Attorney Kolesnikovas can guide and assist potential guardians and conservators in the petition process.

In contested guardianship cases, the court will hear evidence and make determinations. This is a very complex type of proceeding and it is highly suggested the petitioner retain legal counsel.

Attorney Kolesnikovas can also represent parties opposing the guardianship.

Guardianship over an adult usually occurs when the adult ward is incapacitated due to mental illness, mental retardation, or dementia. In the area of mental retardation, there may be a need to transition a child who was receiving services while under the care of his/her parents to an official guardianship after the child reaches age 18.  If a person in adult age suffers from a mental or physical impairment this person will need assistance through a guardianship or conservatorship.

A good number of case arise where an elderly individual has not executed an estate plan granting a durable power of attorney and/or health care proxy and is latter deemed incompetent due to frailty of age or dementia, Alzheimer’s. If there was no pre-planning the family of this individual must obtain a guardianship to assist in the care and responsibility of this individual.

The rules and procedure over obtaining guardianship can be difficult to navigate. Attorney Kolesnikovas has extensive experience in the guardianship area.