Children Laws

Washington Guardianship Law

Washington Guardianship Law

 
 
What is Washington Guardianship?
 
 
Washington guardianship refers to the greatest protection for the affairs and estates of incapacitated persons in the state of Washington. To achieve this status, you must apply to the Certified Professional Guardian Board; this board adopts and implements regulations concerning minimum standards of practice, certification, discipline of professional Washington guardianship and training. 
 
 
What are the Duties of Washington Guardianship?
 
 
A Washington guardianship is appointed by the state Superior Court to act for an individual whom the superior court finds to be incapacitated. The specific court may appoint a Washington guardian of the individual, a guardian of the estate or a Washington guardianship of the individual and the estate, depending on the capabilities and needs of the incapacitated individual. In most cases, a Washington guardianship is held responsible for the incapacitated individual’s “custody, care and control” while considering the particular preferences of the subject. A WA guardianship of the estate and/or the incapacitated person is limited in any manner that the state court believes to be just and appropriate. In these instances, the powers of the Washington guardianship is limited to those specified in the court order and the limitations are made tangible through the Letters of the WA Guardianship issued by the Clerk of the Court. 
 
 
What are the Steps to Become a Washington Guardianship?
 
 
1. The first step to applying for WA guardianships is paying your application fee. To have your application for Washington guardianship be considered for certification you must pay $110 to the Washington courts. Electronic payment is always preferred. When you complete the online application, you will be taken to the payment page. If you opt to pay by mail, you must make the checks payable to the Administrative Office of the Washington Courts and mail your check to: 
 
 
Certified Professional Guardian Program
 
Administrative Office of the Courts
 
P.O. Box 41172
 
Olympia, WA 98504-1172
 
 
2. All applicants for Washington Guardianships must have their background checked. After submitting your application, a fingerprint card will be sent to you from the Administrative Office of the Courts. After receiving the card, fill-it out carefully. Provide all necessary information and take the card to your local sheriff’s department (or police department) and get fingerprinted. After getting fingerprinted, mail the card to the following address:
 
 
Administrative Office of the Courts
 
ATTN: Certified Professional Guardian Board 
 
1206 S. Quince
 
P.O. Box 41170 
 
Olympia, WA 98504-1170
 
 
3. Complete Mandatory Initial Certification Training: All individuals of agencies who seek to be certified as a Washington guardianship must complete the University of Washington Extension Office Guardianship Certificate Program as a mandatory training program. This program is a nine-month training session which consists of three subjects/courses: 56 classroom sessions offered in a four two-day setting at the UW Education Outreach Bellevue facility and 44 hours of online distance learning. 
 
 
4. Complete the Washington Guardianship Application: (Click here)
 
 
To qualify for a Washington Guardianship, an application must meet the following requirements:
 
 
WA Guardianship Law: Be at least 18 years of age
 
WA Guardianship Law: Be of sound mind
 
WA Guardianship Law: Have a clean criminal record (no misdemeanor or felony convictions)
 
WA Guardianship Law: Possess an associate’s degree from an accredited academic institution and at least four years’ experience working in a field pertinent to the provision of guardianship caretaking. A baccalaureate degree from an institution and at least two years’ experience working in a similar discipline is also sufficient for a WA guardianship. The experiences—according to WA guardianship law–must portray decision-making experiences or the use of independent judgment on the behalf of others in the area of financial, social services, healthcare or legal disciplines pertinent to the guardianship role
 
 

Maryland Guardianship Law

Maryland Guardianship Law

 
The Basics of Maryland Guardianship
 
 
What is Guardianship Law? And why is it necessary to have a guardianship process and application?
 
 
It’s a fact that some individuals are not capable of making their own decisions in society. And without a doubt a guardianship process and application are necessary. Here are a few examples:
 
 
1. Children
 
2. Mentally Disabled
 
3. Elderly
 
 
Essentially anyone who isn’t ‘mentally’ capable. By Guardianship law, such individuals are called wards.
 
 
Guardianship Law talks about the process to make it possible for those, who aren’t capable, to be represented well both legally and practically. Then there’s the question: “who is eligible for guardianship and who is not?”
 
 
Who Can Be an Eligible Throughout the Guardianship Process and Application?
 
 
Who is eligible for guardianship and who is not anyway? There are priorities to figure out who is eligible for guardianship and who is not:
 
 
1. Ward Designation
 
2. Blood Relatives
 
3. Any Other Individual With a Particular Interest
 
 
It goes down that line, basically, when trying to figure out who is eligible for guardianship and who is not. Although in a court of law, when it comes to Maryland guardianship, sometimes an individual with a higher priority – such as a blood relative – might be passed over for another individual underneath – not a blood relative – if good cause is shown. That’s a major part of the guardianship process and application
 
 
An example of figuring out who is eligible for guardianship and who is not will be a blood relative being a danger to a child, mentally disabled person, or an elderly person. A lot of times Maryland guardianship deals with those issues.
 
 
The Process for Maryland Guardianship
 
 
The first step when it comes to Guardianship Law is a petition must be filed with the circuit court in Maryland. Part of the guardianship process and application is that the circuit court has to be located in the county which the alleged ‘disabled’ person or child resides.
 
 
A petition for Maryland guardianship will require these pieces of information:
 
 
1. The Petitioner’s Name
 
2. The Petitioner’s Address
 
3. The Petitioner’s Telephone Number
 
4. The Petitioner’s Date of Birth
 
5. The Petitioner’s Relationship to the Ward
 
 
Obviously, with Guardianship law, these pieces of information should also be included in a petition:
 
 
1. The Ward’s Name
 
2. The Ward’s Address
 
3. The Ward’s Gender
 
4. The Ward’s Age
 
 
Guardianship law requirements would also include verified certificates from two physicians when it involves a mentally disabled ward.
 
 
Also a list of potential heirs for the ward in the event that the ward dies for any reason would be provided, especially if there’s no Last Will and Testament written it up. The name and address of the attorney representing a ward as well would be provided in the petition.
 
 
After the Petition Is Filed….
 
 
Upon the filing of the petition, you’ll see the court signing an Order to respond in 20 days. The ward, the attorney (if available), and any other interested persons or agencies associated with the ward, will receive that Order.
 
 
Once the response has been filed, a court date will be set up to hear the details of the guardianship case. All interested individuals will be present in the court. Typically, the judge decides on the petition; however, thanks to the Maryland Rules of Procedure, a jury trial is provided as a right unless waived.
 
 
Legal Importance
 
 
Guardianship is important. All the correct steps need to be taken simply because it involves a person who isn’t able to make any of the decisions.
 
 
How else would that person survive? That’s the basis behind legal guardianship.
 
 

Wisconsin Guardianship Law

Wisconsin Guardianship Law

 
 
The Basics of Wisconsin Guardianship
 
 
It’s important to know what guardianship is, and why Guardianship Law is crucial to understanding it.
 
 
For starters, the concept of ‘guardianship’ is such that a person appointed by a court of law to have ‘custody’ of someone known as a “ward” of the court. That person is designated as a “guardian.” The guardian holds all the rights to the “ward” – physical custody, legal custody, everything.
 
 
In the state of Wisconsin, Guardianship Law is a serious issue separated into four different types:
 
 
1. Wisconsin Guardianship of Incompetent Person
 
2. Wisconsin Guardianship of Minor
 
3. Temporary Wisconsin Guardianship
 
4. Protective Placement
 
 
There’s the question of who is eligible for guardianship and who is not. Understanding all of these will help anyone determine which type of Wisconsin guardianship is best and who is eligible for guardianship and who is not.
 
 
Guardianship of Incompetent Person
 
 
Wisconsin guardianship of an incompetent person involves an individual over 18 who has a developmental disability either by recommendation of a doctor or by medical history. The guardianship process and application is such that all the correct documents and application must be provided.
 
 
Part of the guardianship process and application is that the prospective guardian may need to hire a qualified attorney to present the issue in court, and a Guardian ad Litem must be hired for the incompetent person, representing that person in a court of law.
 
 
Guardianship of Minor
 
 
Guardianship Law permits that all individuals under the age of 18 with no current guardianship – parents, relatives, etc. etc. – be able to acquire guardianship as long as someone suitable is provided – either by the court or by choice. That’s a major part of the guardianship process and application.
 
 
The same rules for the guardianship process and application apply here when it comes to Guardianship Law as they do with Guardianship of an incompetent person. A Guardian ad Litem also has to be hired for the purpose of representation in this part of the guardianship process and application.
 
 
Temporary Guardianship
 
 
There’s an easy answer to the question of who is eligible for guardianship and who is not when it involves temporary guardianship.
 
 
Guardianship Law also makes it possible for guardianship to be imposed immediately. This is usually utilized in conjunction with permanent guardianship in any fashion.
 
 
It’s temporary for that simple fact that it’s in process of the procedure to legitimize a guardian. As always, a Guardian ad Litem is hired, but only on a temporary basis. Typically, that temporary guardianship expires after 60 days unless an extension for another 60 days has been ordered.
 
 
Temporary guardianship can apply to any age, any demographic. Determining who is eligible for guardianship and who is not is relatively simple.
 
 
Protective Placement
 
 
This is a more severe form of guardianship in the sense that the “ward” not only waives rights to a guardian, but also must reside in certain facilities for the purposes of care and custody. Who is eligible for guardianship and who is not is never a question. Common examples would be a mental institution or a correctional facility.
 
 
Typically, this is a type of guardianship usually required by statute when concerning adults. Children usually don’t require protective placement.
 
 
The Process of Applying for Guardianship
 
 
The Probate Office in the county you reside in for Wisconsin would be the first step. Simply fill the correct application and deliver it to the office. You’ll get a response with a court hearing and date, which you’ll show up for to determine the case of guardianship accordingly.
 
 

Georgia Guardianship Law

Georgia Guardianship Law

 
 
Quick Guide to Georgia Guardianships
 
 
Georgia Guardianship Law
 
 
The majority of Georgia guardianship laws are provided under Title 29 Guardian and Ward of the GA Revised Code.  Section 29-2-1 provides that a Georgia guardianship can be defined as: 
 
 
1. a natural guardian 
 
 
2. a testamentary guardian (one without “custody” but with decisions on upbringing)
 
 
3. a temporary guardian 
 
 
4. a standby guardian (when legal parent is incapacitated and gives rights to another person)
 
 
5. permanent guardian
 
 
Georgia guardianships are granted by the local probate courts, and a permanent guardianship may be offered when the minor has no living parents or the legal rights of the parents have been removed by the court.  A temporary Georgia guardianship is granted when the legal guardian of the child needs a guardian for a particular reason.  When the child is a minor, the temporary guardian has the same rights of a natural guardian, and these rights include medical treatment and decisions in school.  
 
 
How to Qualify for Georgia Guardianship Rights
 
 
Georgia guardianships require initial qualifying factors and specific steps.  The state will normally give preference to relatives and caseworkers of the court before another guardian, but the state will never give preference to a person with a criminal background or a person with weak financial history.  
 
 
The steps listed below are general steps, and you should always consult with your local probate court and hire a family law attorney if you’re trying to qualify for Georgia guardianships: 
 
 
Step 1 File the Appropriate Forms
 
 
You need to submit a petition with the court before you take any other steps.  These petitions usually have you list why you should have Georgia guardianship rights, why your supervision is best for the child, financial information, and more.  
 
 
Pay the Fees and Undergo an Investigation
 
 
You will have to pay various filing fees and attorneys’ fees in most cases.  After you have submitted all of the necessary fees, the probate will conduct a criminal background check on the potential guardian.  These investigations are usually performed by caseworkers, social work professional, and personal care facility administrators and you will be asked a large amount of information.  
 
 
These investigations will examine your placement plan, your financial history, your ability to work with the ward, and whether this place is preferable to other Georgia guardianships.  
 
 
Undergo the Necessary Training
 
 
While or after the court is determining eligibility, probate courts in the state of GA will make all guardians view a training video and read a handbook prepared by the judges and administrations.  
 
 
If the court has determined the Georgia guardianship is in the best interests of the ward, a judge will assign specific responsibilities to the guardian.  If a minor turns 18, marries, or graduates from high school, the courts will usually terminate Georgia guardianships unless the guardianship is permanent.  
 
 

North Carolina Guardianship Law

North Carolina Guardianship Law

 
 
Quick Guide to North Carolina Guardianships
 
 
NC guardianship law
 
 
The majority of North Carolina guardianship laws are located under Chapter 35A of the NC Statutes.  The chapter provides procedures for the guardianship of incapacitated adults, minors, and for the estate.  You can complete listing of NC guardianship law at the following link
 
 
The North Carolina Guardianship Association is also a great resource for information associated with general guardianships.  Most of the information in this article can be found under the NCGA as well.  
 
 
Establishing North Carolina Guardianship
 
 
The state will normally give preference to relatives in any type of guardianship—especially concerning a minor.  The court will also give preference to friends of the Department of Human Services caseworkers when parental rights have been terminated by the court or the parent allows the minor to live with another person voluntarily.  The permission from a parent may occur if the parent is older and the child requires special needs, but there are other situations where guardianship rights can be handed down. 
 
 
The court never allows a person or family with a criminal background to have guardianship rights, and individuals who show a weak financial history will not be considered either.  However, in order for a qualified person or family to file in accordance with NC guardianship law, they must take a variety of steps.  Some general steps are provided in the next section.  
 
 
Filing for North Carolina Guardianship
 
 
The NCGA provides general steps which are supplemented by this article.  The first step any prospective guardian takes includes filing a petition with the local court and jurisdiction in which the ward resides.  If you need help locating a court, you can visit the official website of the North Carolina Court System and select your county below the image on the homepage.  
 
 
According to NC guardianship law, the clerk of the court will receive the completed petition and decide if the person is incapacitated enough to receive a guardianship.  If the clerk decides North Carolina guardianship is necessary, they may help a guardian litem to help the ward through the proceedings.  
 
 
During the hearing process, the clerk and guardian will usually consult with a social worker and other witnesses to establish the ward’s condition and needs.  After the court has decided upon the guardian, they will make sure the party understands the entirety of NC guardianship law and responsibilities.  Once the hearing is over, the North Carolina guardianship will begin.  
 
 
Responsibilities under NC guardianship law
 
 
The guardian is responsible for all living arrangements of a ward, as well as helping with training, education, employment, or other services the ward may need.  Additionally, the guardian can normally give consent for medical, legal, or psychological services, and they are responsible for the ward’s property.  
 
 
If the legal guardian dies during the North Carolina guardianship, the court will again help to appoint another qualified person.  If there are family members that can still qualify as a valid guardian, the court will usually select a family member.  
 
 

Connecticut Guardianship Law

Connecticut Guardianship Law

 
 
Guide to Connecticut Guardianship Laws
 
 
When a resident of Connecticut is unable to make decisions for themselves, CT guardianship laws allow a person or non-profit organization to make those decisions as the person's legal guardian.  This article will discuss the types of Connecticut guardianship arrangements that are available for guardianship of children and the disabled.  For more information or for specific advice about your legal situation, you may want to contact a CT guardianship attorney who can advise you further.
 
 
Connecticut Guardianship For Children
 
 
In most situations, a child's parent carries all decisionmaking authority for the child.  However, in some cases, a parent is unavailable or deceased, and the child must have a guardian appointed according to CT guardianship law.  If a parent is able to nominate a guardian, the court will typically give this nomination a great deal of weight.  A child's preferences may also be taken into account if they are old enough to make a reasonable choice about their Connecticut guardianship situation.
 
 
In some situations, CT guardianship is needed for a child due to a parent's disability or terminal illness.  In these cases, a type of Connecticut guardianship called standby guardianship is allowed.  When a standby guardian is approved, it makes the transition from parent to guardian substantially easier and can give a terminally ill parent peace of mind.
 
 
Connecticut Guardianship of the Person
 
 
Disabled people who are unable to make any personal care decisions may qualify for a type of CT guardianship called guardianship of the person.  If someone is appointed for this Connecticut guardianship arrangement, they will have the ability to make all day to day decisions for the disabled person, including basic personal care choices as well as bigger decisions about education, religion, and healthcare.
 
 
CT guardianship of the person is only awarded in cases where the disabled person is unable to care for him or herself or make any reasonable decisions about care.  It is generally considered a last resort for the disabled.  Connecticut guardianship may be obtained in these cases by either an individual or by a not for profit organization (either public or private).
 
 
Connecticut Guardianship of the Estate
 
 
If a person is capable of making some decisions about their personal care, but cannot be reasonably entrusted to handle their own finances, CT guardianship laws allow people to seek a different type of guardianship arrangement.  A Connecticut guardianship of the estate gives a guardian responsibilities for handling the estate and finances of a disabled person.  This type of CT guardianship is common when an elderly person is still living independently or in a nursing home, but is no longer capable of making good financial decisions due to dementia or advanced age.
 
 
Limited Connecticut Guardianship
 
 
In some cases, a person's disability may not require total CT guardianship over their estate or their person.  In these situations, limited guardianship may be awarded.  This is the most flexible type of Connecticut guardianship, and the responsibilities of a limited guardian will be clearly delineated by the court system at the time when guardianship is awarded.
 
 

West Virginia Guardianship Law

West Virginia Guardianship Law

 
 
Quick Guide to WV Guardianship
 
 
West Virginia Guardianship Laws
 
 
The “Guardianship and Conservatorship Act” is located in Chapter 44A of the state’s revised statutes.  For a link to all statutes on West Virginia guardianships, visit the following link.
 
 
The majority of information in this article about WV guardianship is referenced from the following document under the KDC Income Management Organization (formerly the Appalachian Benefits Assistance Corporation): 
 
 
Eligibility Factors for West Virginia Guardianships
 
 
According to state law, any adult may qualify for a West Virginia guardianship or conservatorship—or even both.  The court will investigate a person’s criminal background, financial history, former relationship with the ward (if any), and overall responsibility before considering a WV guardianship.  
 
 
A court will always prefer a family member(s), friend, or other person formerly associated with the ward before others for West Virginia guardianships.  
 
 
Duties within a West Virginia Guardianship
 
 
A court will always hear testimony from the ward before setting guidelines within the WV guardianship.  Additionally, apart from simply qualifying for the West Virginia guardianship, a guardian must complete the following duties: 
 
 
1. Mandatory Training for West Virginia Guardianships- after a person qualifies for WV guardianship, they must complete an educational class and training require by the court within 30 days of being approved.  Once the training for the West Virginia guardianship is completed, the guardian must submit an affidavit to the court. 
 
 
2. Order of Appointment- you must take an oath to fulfill all duties within West Virginia guardianships, and a copy of the order must be sent to the ward and all people who received a copy of the petition within 14 days of appointment.  
 
 
3. Annual Reports- most West Virginia guardianships require the guardian to file an annual report with the court.  The reports for West Virginia guardianships usually include the following:
 
 
description of the current health of the ward and the following;
 
living arrangements within the West Virginia guardianship
 
medical, educational, vocational, and other services provided to the ward
 
summary of your visits during the WV guardianship 
 
statement of whether you agree with the current plan
 
the need for extended WV guardianship
 
other information the court may find useful
 
the compensation you requested for the West Virginia guardianship, and other expenses you incurred
 
 
How do I file for a West Virginia Guardianships?
 
 
In order to petition for West Virginia guardianships, you’ll have to file a petition with your circuit court, undergo investigation from the court, testify in front of the court, and eventually be approved if a judge determines the WV guardianship is in the best interests of the ward.  For a list of West Virginia courts, click on the link
 
 
West Virginia guardianships also give the respondent certain rights after the petition has been filed.  The respondent must be notified of the place and time of the hearing for the West Virginia guardianship, be represented by legal counsel, be present at all proceedings except if they have a medical exception.  The respondent also has a right to trial by jury and may even cross examine witnesses.  
 
 

Pennsylvania Guardianship Law

Pennsylvania Guardianship Law

 
 
Guide to Pennsylvania Guardianship
 
 
If you are considering PA guardianship for a child or a disabled adult, you may be wondering what you can expect from the family court system.  Pennsylvania guardianship is a major commitment for any person, and should not be taken lightly.  This guide will explain some of the reasons that a child or disabled adult may need guardianship, and the different types of guardian arrangements available under PA guardianship law.
 
 
Guardianship of Minors
 
 
In most cases, a child's legal guardian is his or her parent, and Pennsylvania guardianship laws do not allow any court hearings to create this legal relationship.  However, in some cases, a parent is not available to take care of a child.  This may be due to the death of a parent in some cases, or a severely debilitating illness.  Children may also need a guardian appointed according to PA guardianship laws if their custodial parent is incarcerated for a long time.
 
 
In cases where a parent is able to suggest a guardian to the court, the parent's choice will be weighted heavily according to Pennsylvania guardianship laws.  Typically a parent's preferred guardian will only be declined by a judge if the person chosen is unwilling or unable to accept the responsibilities of PA guardianship.  Pennsylvania guardianship also allows a parent to specify a stand-by guardian for a child if they believe they may soon be incapacitated.
 
 
Guardianship of the Person
 
 
Disabled people may also be subject to PA guardianship laws.  If a disabled person is unable to care for themselves or make basic personal decisions, the court may appoint a guardian of the person.  This is a type of Pennsylvania guardianship that gives the guardian responsibility for making all day to day decisions about a disabled person's life.
 
 
PA guardianship laws specify a number of responsibilities for a guardian of the person, but there are a few limitations to what a guardian of the person can do.  For instance, Pennsylvania guardianship laws do not allow a guardian to prohibit a marriage or consent to a divorce, or to consent to experimental medical procedures.
 
 
Guardianship of the Estate
 
 
If a disabled person is able to make some personal decisions but cannot reasonably be expected to make decisions about financial issues, a guardian of the state may be appointed according to PA guardianship laws.  Many elderly people have this sort of Pennsylvania guardianship relationship established when dementia makes them incapable of handling their own finances.
 
 
Limited Guardianship
 
 
If a disabled person is able to make some decisions but not others, the court may list specific PA guardianship responsibilities that a limited guardian is assigned to be responsible for.  Limited Pennsylvania guardianship can take many forms, and largely depends on the exact abilities of the person who needs to have a guardian appointed by the court.  When this kind of PA guardianship is assigned, the court will specify exactly what duties and what portion of the disabled person's assets are controlled by the limited guardian.
 
 

Delaware Guardianship Law

Delaware Guardianship Law

 
 
Frequently Asked Questions about Delaware Guardianship
 
 
What is Delaware guardianship?
 
 
Delaware guardianship law controls how individuals take on the powers, rights and duties for protecting and managing a child, responsibilities which are typically bestowed upon legal parents. 
 
 
Once Delaware guardianship is legally granted, a guardian becomes practically a parent legally. One of the few differences between Delaware guardianship and parental status is that a third party cannot sue a guardian for a misdeed committed by their child. Additionally, guardians can have their rights limited by the court, while parents cannot.
 
 
What is Permanent Delaware Guardianship?
 
 
Permanent Delaware Guardianship allows for a child to develop a permanent self-sustaining relationship between a child and an adult, but it does not infringe on the parenting rights of child’s actual parents, which separates Permanent Delaware Guardianship from full legal adoption.
 
 
A Custody Order is also bestowed along with Guardianship, which implies that a Permanent Guardian is expected to have custody of the child, see them regularly, and have responsibility for their care and maintenance, as well as their education, travel, eating, and location.
 
 
The only individuals eligible to apply as Permanent Delaware Guardians are blood relatives and foster parents. Importantly, the child’s actual parents may not petition the court to change or revoke another individual’s Permanent Guardianship rights over their own child. Additionally, Delaware Guardianship Law does allow for the somewhat unusual situation of a parent paying child support to the Guardian.
 
 
What is Standby Delaware Guardianship?
 
 
The purpose of Standby Delaware Guardianship is for a parent who is suffering from a progressive chronic disorder or a fatal disease to be able to quickly make plans for their child’s care in case of the worst. The idea is that the parent won’t have to give up their own parental rights for the Standby Delaware Guardianship rights to take over.
 
 
Every petitioner for Standby Delaware Guardianship is the parent of a child, trying to find the individual to give parental rights to after their death. No one can petition for Standby Delaware Guardianship rights for themselves; they must be bestowed upon another.
 
 
A parent may petition for Standby Delaware Guardianship even if there is another parent who could conceivably take care to the child. In order for such a Standby Delaware Guardianship petition to be valid, one must prove either that the other parent is dead, that their rights have been terminated, or that the other parent for whatever reason consented to being left out of the Standby Delaware Guardianship.
 
 
A Standby Delaware Guardianship takes effect once one of two things happens: either, there has been a receipt of a determination of a petitioner’s incapacity, their debilitation, or their death, or the other petition has given then written consent to Standby Delaware Guardianship.
 
 
Within 30 days, the applicant for Standby Delaware Guardianship must petition the Court for confirmation of their status or else risk forfeiture. 
 
 
Where do I learn about more about Delaware Guardianship?
You can find out more about Delaware Guardianship system at home. Check out the state’s site here.
 
 

Alaska Guardianship Law

Alaska Guardianship Law

 
 
Frequently Asked Questions about Alaska Guardianship Law
 
 
What is Alaska guardianship law?
 
 
Alaska guardianship laws allow for individuals to have a legally recognized ability to control the finances, housing or medical care of another individual who is not capable of making decisions in their own benefit.  The person whose affairs a guardian manages is called a ward, and every guardian has a legal responsibility to their ward and can be held accountable in court for their decisions or mistakes.
 
 
When is guardianship needed?
 
 
There are strict limitations concerning when Alaska guardianship law comes into play, as unnecessary appointment would be a grave affront to the personal rights of the ward. A prospective guardian will have to show that an individual’s ability to receive information, to evaluate that information, or to communicate their decisions is severely impaired so that it is impossible for them to mange for their own health and safety, including managing their food, shelter, clothing and medical decisions. In other words, if an individual risks suffering physical injury or illness for not having a guardian, then a guardian can be appointed.
 
 
What is a conservatorship?
 
 
Alaska guardianship law differentiates between a guardianship and a conservatorship. While a guardian may control any aspect of their ward’s affairs so long as they are designated to do so by the court, a conservator is limited only to financial affairs such as paying debt, managing income, and arranging taxes.
 
 
Up until 2004, there was an Alaska guardianship law which said that an individual would need two separate appointments as both conservator and guardian in order to manage an individual’s finances as well as their healthcare and shelter. However, a new statute allowed full guardians to have financial powers without getting a separate appointment.
 
 
Who can be a guardian?
 
 
In order to be obtain an Alaska guardianship, you must NOT do any of the following five thing:
 
 
Provide professional services to the ward;
 
Serve as creditor to the ward;
 
Have any interests which might conflict with the interests of the ward;
 
Work for anyone who provides services or whose interests conflict with those of the ward;
 
Be under eighteen years-old.
 
 
Note that conflicts of interest can be ignored in the case of relatives, such as spouses, children or siblings, as long as the court rules that any conflicts of interest are insubstantial.
 
 
How do I file for Alaska guardianship?
 
 
1. Fill out Petition form PG-100, make one copy and file with your county’s superior court. A $75 filing fee will be charged. In the mail, you’ll receive an Order for Appointments and Notice of Hearing, schedule your appearance before the court.
 
 
2. Notify all interested parties including the person who takes care of the ward currently of the action.
 
 
3. Allow Court Visitor to investigate the ward’s current living condition and decide if guardianship is needed.
 
 
4. Respond to Visitor’s Report within ten days.
 
 
5. Court hearing is held within 120 days of original petition, and the judge will decide whether or not to grant guardianship.