Becoming a legal guardian over someone is a tricky process. Guardianship requires an in-depth understanding of the complex legal caretaking process.
If you’re interested in becoming a legal guardian over someone, then you’re in the right place. This article discusses the types of guardianship and the details of the process.
What Is a Guardianship and What Does It Involve?
Legal guardians or conservators oversee the decisions of a person who can’t make them on their own. These individuals are often children. In some cases, individuals may be the elderly or disabled.
A guardianship is temporary unless the court order gets extended. Guardianships usually last until the person turns a specific age.
An extension might also get filed if the person shows mental capacity. Emergency guardianship is immediately enacted if the dependent is in danger.
Regardless of the situation, you’ll need guardianship litigation before guardianship approval. A guardianship attorney helps make the process less confusing.
The Different Types of Guardianship
There are three types of guardianship: full, limited, and joint. Each type involves a different set of expectations.
Someone with full guardianship has comprehensive authority over their dependent. This guardianship ultimately oversees the dependent’s well being. The full guardian makes decisions for the dependent and handles the dependent’s financial and legal matters.
Someone with limited guardianship does not have comprehensive authority over their dependent. They do have the power to handle certain decisions. These decisions focus on specific needs like healthcare and property.
Joint guardianship involves shared authority over a dependent. The guardianship is broad, but the caretakers share the decisions.
What Does Guardianship Involve?
Once you’ve decided on the type of guardianship, you’ll need to assess your specific situation. There are types of guardianship for adults, as well as types of guardianships for minors. Here is a brief overview of the types of dependents.
Guardianship of a Minor
Minor guardianship is very common and involves overseeing the decisions of a child under 18. Once the child reaches 18, the guardianship often ends, unless an extension gets granted.
Guardianship of an Adult
Guardianship of an adult happens for various reasons, such as mental illness or cognitive injury. If an adult is incapable of making important decisions, a guardianship helps relieve the burden off of them.
Guardianship of an Incapacitated Person
Mental incapacitation guardianship is for people incapable of making decisions on their own. Like adult guardianship, the conservator handles financial burdens they can’t make on their own.
Guardianship of an Estate
Estate guardianship focuses on managing someone’s property. For example, if a child inherits a home, an adult guardian may step in and handle the property as if they owned it since a child isn’t ready for that type of burden.
Guardianship: The Next Steps
Knowing the types of guardianship is the first step toward understanding if it’s is the right decision for you and your family. With the help of a guardianship attorney and a bit of patience, your future dependent will get the help they deserve.
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