To become a child’s guardian, you will have to show the parent’s rights have been already been terminated or prove the child’s parents have abused, neglected or abandoned the child or cannot provide a stable home environment. You will also need to prove you are qualified to be the child’s guardian and it is in the best interest of the child. The court will likely appoint a Guardian ad litem (a different attorney) to “speak” for the child during the process. If a child is 14 years of age or older, they may nominate a guardian of their choice. The nominated person will be appointed unless the court determines it is not in the child’s best interest. If you are appointed guardian, you will have to file an Annual Report with the court each year.
A conservator’s job is to manage the finances of the child. Unless a child has personal financial assets that need to be manages, a conservatorship is generally not necessary.
If you want to become the guardian for a child, I can represent you in the process. If someone has filed a case requesting to become the guardian of your child I can represent your concerns and input.
Sometimes an elderly family member has reached the point where they cannot manage their own affairs. Some have family members with a developmental disability that makes in impossible for them to make responsible decisions about their own care or finances. I can represent you through the process of obtaining a guardianship and conservatorship over your loved one and navigating you through the delicate process of removing their control and providing the protection your loved one needs. A guardianship will enable the appointed person to assist by managing healthcare, medication and daily hygiene. A conservatorship will enable the appointed person to assist by paying bills and managing the money so your loved one’s assets are protected and will cover their needs.
Once you petition for guardianship/conservatorship, the court will appoint 3 people to gather information and assist in the proceeding: a doctor, a court visitor and a Guardian ad Litem Attorney to speak on behalf of your loved one. The court will consider all the information provided and determine whether appointing a guardian or conservator is necessary. As with guardianships for children, there are annual reporting requirements for adult cases with which I can assist you.