Some Adults Need a Guardian
The need to take care of an adult is one of the most difficult a family has to face. Adult guardianships may be appropriate when the following conditions exist: Drug and alcohol addiction, mental or physical illness or incapacity, and even old age. The presence of these conditions alone is not sufficient for the court to grant guardianship, but whether their decision making abilities are impaired is what the court will use to grant the petition.
The guardian’s duties with the ward are: custody of the ward, ensure that they have a place to live, are adequately cared for, get appropriate education and training, and give approvals for medical and professional care for the ward. If a conservator has not been specifically assigned then the guardian will generally have some responsibility to the ward to care for their property and finances.
How One Becomes a Guardian for an Adult
The incapacitated adult, “ward,” or any person interested in their welfare, usually family, may petition the court to find the ward incapacitated. Usually this will require a medical examination of the ward by a court-appointed physician. A ward is entitled to an attorney and to present evidence in their own defense. If the ward is determined to be incapacitated, then a guardian will be appointed by the court.
The parent or spouse of an incapacitated person may also appoint a guardian by will or testament. The guardian must file an acceptance of the appointment to be the guardian with the court for it to take effect.
How Does a Guardianship Terminate?
Guardianship is terminated in four ways: (1) Death of either the ward or the guardian, (2) Determination by the court that the ward is no longer incapacitated, (3) Resignation if accepted by the court, (4) Removal by the court if it determines that it is in the best interest of the ward to remove the guardian and appoint a successor.
UT Family Law Attorneys
Guardianships can be a great benefit to incapacitated adults and their families. The family law attorneys at the law firm of Utah Divorce Hotline are experienced lawyers who can help you to determine what is best for your situation and your loved ones. Contact us by phone at 801.618.1331 or by email and we can begin the process of setting up a guardianship plan for your family.