Thursday, 21 June 2018 12:22

Adult Guardianships in Arizona

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Sometimes people have to go through the sad task of obtaining an adult guardianship.  Sometimes they need a guardianship over an elderly parent or other relative because the parent or relative has a diminished capacity in his or her old age.  Sometimes, an adult child, parent, or other relative has had an accident with a brain injury, for example, that has left him or her unable to address daily needs.  Sometimes an incapcitated child becomes an adult.  In all three situations, someone, usually a parent or child of the proposed ward, must seek a court order in the Probate Court of the Arizona Superior Court in order to have a guardianship over the incapacitated person.
 
The guardianship will allow the guardian to make decisions for the ward, seek medical attention for the ward, provide for the ward’s day-to-day needs, determine where the ward lives, and make living arrangements for the ward.  A guardianship does not authorize the guardian to handle the ward’s property and finances.  A conservator must handle the ward’s property and finances.  Therefore, when a ward has property and finances to handle, the petitioner will seek appointment of both a guardian and a conservator, which are usually the same person.
 
To start the process, the petitioner must file a petition to establish a guardianship over the proposed ward, along with several other papers.  Once the court sets a hearing date, the petitioner must contact the Office of the Public Defender so that they may assign a lawyer to represent the proposed ward; complete the order appointing attorney, health professional, and court investigator; give the order to the probate registrar; and serve notice on all persons entitled to notice, such as the other parent of the proposed ward or other children of the proposed ward (these people may sign a waiver of notice).  The petitioner must also give a set of the court’s guidelines to the physician appointed to complete the evaluation.
 
The petitioner then must provide the report to the court five business days before the hearing.  The petitioner must also file the notice of hearing, waiver of notice (if any), affidavit of service, and the order appointing five business days prior to the hearing. 
 
The petitioner must go to the hearing with all of the required forms and orders, including the order appointing a guardian and letters of guardianship, for the court to sign.  If no one objects to the guardianship or to the proposed guardian, the court will have an uncontested hearing and, assuming that the petitioner has met all the statutory requirements and the proposed ward needs a guardian, the hearing will be easy.  If someone objects, the court may have an uncontested hearing and decide the issue or set another hearing to gather more information.
 
If you need help with an adult guardianship, Thomas A. Morton can help you.
Read 257 times Last modified on Thursday, 21 June 2018 12:26

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