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Guide to Child Slavery

Guide to Child Slavery

What is the History of Child Slavery?
Throughout the course of history, millions of children have been sold into slavery in order for their family to survive, repay debts or for crimes. Although the term “child slavery” has a horrible connotation and stigma attached, the placement of a child into a slave camp or manual labor position may have actually given the child a better life that what they previously experienced with their family.
This statement is of course broad, for in the majority of instances, child slavery is one of the most condemned, despicable, inhumane and deadliest actions undertaken.
In the majority of slavery institutions throughout the world, those children who were slaves became real property of their underlying master. This was the case with, for instance, the American slave; all children born to slaves or taken as slaves would become imminent property of their slave owner; in this relationship, the owner possesses complete control over the slave. As a result of this basic relationship, child slavery, much like generic slavery, stripped an individual of their basic human rights. 
In most slave states, the status of the mother determined if a child was a slave; that being said, some nations, due to the differentiating slave laws used the father’s status to determine placement of the child. Furthermore, in many cultures (it is important to observe that child slavery laws were different in a legal and cultural sense), slaves could earn their freedom through hard work or buying their own freedom. 


Modern Day Child Slavery:
With the abolition of slavery (throughout the majority of the world), child slavery has greatly reduced; however, the phenomenon is still present, especially in Third World countries. Although there is no longer any country or state which legally recognizes child slavery, the abolition of slavery does not mean child slavery ceases to exist.
Currently, according to the Anti-Slavery Society, there are millions of people throughout the world—mostly children—who live in conditions of virtual slavery and forms of servitude, which are in many respects similar to slavery. 
Statistics on child slavery are somewhat ambiguous because the term is loaded. For example, over the past decade, trafficking of children—including the recruitment, obtainment and transportation of children by force of fraud for the purpose of subjecting them to involuntary acts—is regarded as a form of child slavery to some professionals and simply a separate subject to others. 

Colorado Guardianship Law

Colorado Guardianship Law

 
 
Why Is It Important to Know about Colorado Guardianship Law?
 
 
The first question you have to ask yourself as a resident of Colorado is this: why do you seek Colorado guardianship? What’s your reason? And better yet, who is eligible for guardianship and who is not?
 
 
Two Basic Facts About Colorado Guardianship
 
 
Typically, Guardianship Law revolves around these two reasons:
 
 
1. A Person/Child With a Disability
 
 
2. A Child Without a Suitable Parent
 
 
Everything else falls in line around these two basic facts. Answering the question of who is eligible for guardianship and who is not flows from that.
 
 
Getting Into the Process of Colorado Guardianship
 
 
By Guardianship Law in Colorado, you simply have to be an “interested person.” That doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be related, though, to proceed through the guardianship process and application. By power of attorney, the guardianship process and application goes through priorities to determine who is eligible for guardianship and who is not:
 
 
1. Individual Nominated by the Court as Power of Attorney
 
2. Acting Agent for Medical Purposes
 
3. A Spouse Acting as Guardian
 
4. Another Interested Adult Relative
 
5. The Birth Parent or Person Appointed by Birth Parent
 
6. A Person Living With the Individual for at least Six Months
 
 
These priorities go in line to find out who is eligible for guardianship and who is not, one after the other, starting with the court-appointed power of attorney; and it applies to all types of cases – whether it’s juvenile guardianship, or adult guardianship. The process to determine who is eligible for guardianship and who is not is the same for any case. For legal purposes, know that the cornerstone of this Colorado guardianship is the term “ward.” It’s the legal term for the person being subjected to Colorado guardianship under the law. In other words, a legal guardian takes over the rights of the particular ward in question.
 
 
Know as well that by Guardianship Law, a “ward” can be legally emancipated from guardianship upon turning 18 years of age (unless, of course, it’s established that a severe disability keeps the “ward” from making his or her own decisions).
 
 
The Guardianship Process and Application Required
 
 
After a petition is filed with the court for the guardianship process and application, a visitation is scheduled to determine the ward’s opinion on the guardianship, plus also providing an opportunity for the ward to seek legal representation if necessary.
 
 
The person conducting the visitation is typically referred to as the court visitor. After visiting the place of the prospective legal guardian and discussing the matter with the legal guardian to make sure the role is understood, the court visitor then files a report to make recommendations.
 
 
At this point, a hearing is scheduled, standard by Guardianship Law. It’s important to have this hearing as part of the guardianship process and application, because essentially by Guardianship Law the “ward” in question will literally lose all rights to make his or her own decisions. Therefore the entire case has to be reviewed to make sure it will be the best possible decision on behalf of the “ward.”
 
 
Once all the evidence has been heard and it has been established that the “ward” is “incapable” of making his or her own decisions, guardianship is then awarded to the petitioner, whoever it may be.
 
 
From Then on, It’s All About the Legal Guardianship
 
 
The legal guardian is responsible for literally everything involving the “ward,” who is longer necessarily a “ward,” but now an individual under custody by the legal guardian.
 
 
It can be a long process – but with the appropriate legal representation under Family Law in Colorado, it can award to a person interested in guardianship the right to take care of all matters of the person in question.
 
 

Arizona Guardianship Law

Arizona Guardianship Law

 


Arizona guardianship law is the relationship between a responsible adult and a minor or other adult that is substantially unable to care for their daily needs.  The adult is the guardian and the subject of the guardianship is the ward.  Under a conventional guardianship agreement, one will be tasked with making health, financial and lifestyle decisions on behalf of the ward.  These terms are not absolute and can be changed by a court, subject to an agreement, or make considerations for the ability of the ward to make decisions and function in spite of other inabilities.
 
 
Under what conditions can guardianship protection be issued under Arizona guardianship law?
 
 
Generally, guardianship can be assigned when there are any of the following factors affecting the potential ward, under Arizona guardianship law:
 
Drug use
 
Mental illness
 
Confinement
 
Physical inability to care for their needs
 
Financial issues that would make them dependent
 
 
Responsibility of the guardian under Arizona guardianship law
 
 
The guardian is responsible for making major decisions on the health and welling being of the ward, typically, if there are mental and physical issues that need treatment.  The guardian would make those decisions accordingly to ensure that proper care is given.  The guardian might be trusted with making financial decisions using the assets and estate of the protected person, though this is not included in a conventional agreement and the court can and will modify this as needed.  Generally, a conservator would deal with financial matters while the guardian would deal with daily needs and medical care.
 
 
Becoming the appointed guardian under Arizona guardianship law
 
 
Under Arizona guardianship law, one will need to petition for either guardianship or conservatorship with the court.  This move may require legal counsel of some sort to work through the process with the court.  The ward too, will need to be present in most cases and must have legal counsel to determine if Arizona guardianship law can be applied with the best interests of the protected person.  Notice is given to immediate relatives as well, even if the proposed guardian is also a relative.
 
 
Emergencies under Arizona guardianship law
 
 
There exists a provision in Arizona guardianship law that will allow for guardianship to be assigned quickly, skipping much of the process, including the judge and jury deliberations on the suitability of the guardianship.  You will work with an attorney for emergency guardianship and the arrangement will be reviewed properly at a reasonable interval after the guardianship has been secured.  You will need to file all necessary petitions, notify all parties to the guardianship as well as physicians and other important persons and also have the case proceed for a judge’s approval.
 
 
Emergency situations often involve immediate danger on the part of the ward that endangers their health and safety as well as self-inflicted financial damage.  Arizona guardianship law allows for relatives and other concerned persons to step in and take control of the decision making on the part of the protected person that can no longer work in their own interests, as also determined by Arizona guardianship law.
 
 
Arizona guardianship laws provide for a protected person to be entered under the care of a trusted relative, friend or legal professional.  This guardian would be empowered by court order and AZ guardianship law to make substantial decisions affecting the health and wellbeing of the protected person.  This includes decisions on, medical care, limited financial decisions and lifestyle.  Arizona guardianship laws provide some limitations on what the protected person can retain control over and the court will modify the conventional AZ guardianship law arrangement as needed to reflect the ability of a protected person to manage a few aspects of their affairs.  Arizona guardianship laws provide for both mental and physical incapacity, including that of minors.
 
 
Note that while the convention Arizona guardianship laws do not provide for control of the estate, this might be included or subject to a separate conservator relationship with the protected person.
 
 
What are the standards necessary to merit consideration under Arizona guardianship laws?
 
 
Minors that have no other legal guardians are prime targets for Arizona guardianship laws.  Whomever is an adult with some existing relationship with the child, can be declared the guardian under Arizona guardianship laws.  There are some limitations of course and AZ guardianship law will match the minor to a close relation or strong family friend before all other potential candidates.  No child is considered legally able to make their own decisions and will need a guardian.
 
 
There are a number of conditions that might have an otherwise healthy adult declared in need of a guardian.  This includes drug use and mental issues.  The mental issues might range from intense psychosis requiring constant watch and evaluation to simple issues like an inability to use money to care for their needs.  The responsibilities of the guardian under Arizona guardianship laws will depend on the court order and functioning behavior of the protected person.
 
 
What are the obligations of the guardian under Arizona guardianship laws?
 
 
The obligations of the guardian, under AZ guardianship law include ensuring the basic needs of the protected person are met.  If the protected person is ill, then the guardian is tasked with making important decisions on the health and wellbeing of the protected person.  This will include accepting certain medical treatments and seeking specific medical care.
 
 
The daily needs of the protected person also need to be met and this is usually included in the arrangement as per Arizona guardianship laws, unless the protected person demonstrates the ability to function.  In that case the guardian under AZ guardianship law, would only make key decisions on treatment.
 
 
How to become a guardian under AZ guardianship law
 
 
The prospective guardian will have to petition to be appointed guardian.  They will demonstrate their relationship with the protected person and note the reasons for seeking guardianship.  The protected person might be represented by legal counsel if they disagree with the assertion that they are in need of a guardian under AZ guardianship law.
 

Indiana Guardianship Law

Indiana Guardianship Law

 
 
What is Indiana guardianship law?
 
 
Indiana guardianship law descries the relationship or care between a compensating adult acting as a caretaker and a “protected person,” which is a term that describes those that are disabled.  In order for there to be a guardianship relationship claimed, the protected person must be determined to be unable to manage their affairs and act normally when functioning in everyday life.  There are limitations on the guardianship, sometimes defined by the court and if there is any facet of their life that the protected person can control and make proper decisions on, then the Indiana guardianship law will allow them to reserve that decision-making right over that particular aspect, until circumstances change to make them more or less competent.
 
 
Who is considered a “protected person” under Indiana law?
 
 
Though the term disability is used, protected persons will include minors as well as those that are insured and incapacitated.  Indiana guardianship law notes that age, developmental disability, mental illness and accidents are all instances where guardianship might be required for those adults that cannot make critical decisions and function as a rational adult.
 
 
Indiana guardianship law and estates
 
 
Under many circumstances, the guardian may also assume control of the protected person’s estate and finances.  As is the case in all states, the guardian has a fiduciary duty to the protected person and cannot claim an undue benefit from the estate, beyond what is entrusted to them through the court order and Indiana guardianship law granting them control.
 
 
What control and decisions might be entrusted to a guardian under Indiana guardianship law?
 
 
The guardian might be granted the responsibility to control medical treatments and the location of medical care.  They will also have some responsibility of the estate and financial assets of the protected person, including debts and borrowing.  The level of control and responsibility, as determined in court, will depend on a number of factors and indeed those that are not as well trusted or close to the protected person will be granted less responsibility accordingly.
 
 
What is power of attorney?
 
 
Power of attorney is one aspect of Indiana guardianship law where an agreement is made when an individual is healthy, of sound mind to grant a trusted individual the nominal power to make decisions or handle certain affairs on their behalf.  They may opt to make this a durable power of attorney, as this will also this power to remain in effect when they are mentally incapacitated.  The power of attorney arrangement ends when the principal dies, at what point the estate and other affairs pass onto the heirs, as applicable.
 
 
Where is the Indiana guardianship law located?
 
 
You will find the Indiana guardianship law pertaining to these arrangements in Indiana Code 29 Article 3
 
 
When does this relationship end, according to Indiana guardianship law?
 
 
The conditions to end guardianship vary, for instance, minors are free from guardianship at the age of 18, as well as if the minor is adopted or married.  The court will enforce the end of guardianships accordingly.
 
 
How a guardianship arrangement is declared, according to Indiana guardianship laws.
 
 
IN guardianship law allows for a capable adult to act as a caretaker for any individual that is disabled or substantially unable to care for themselves, including children.  These people that are eligible are collectively known as a “protected person,” though the distinction as a protected person can be challenged under IN guardianship law.  Indiana guardianship laws note that the arrangement in question is not absolute and the potential beneficiary can assert their ability to control certain aspects of their life.  This enables them to ensure that they have some control over their lifestyle, under Indiana guardianship laws.  All decision-making is left to the guardian, unless otherwise noted with the IN guardianship law relationship is determined.
 
 
Can an able-bodied person be subject to guardianship under Indiana guardianship laws?
 
 
Yes, those that are of unsound mind can be assigned a guardian under IN guardianship law.  This includes those that cannot manage their money to support themselves, though there is another arrangement that deals specifically with only the financial needs of the protected person.  The financial obligations and management can be assigned to the guardian under Indiana guardianship laws, but it is also likely a conservator can be assigned to handle the finances while the guardian deals with daily life.
 
 
What is considered in assigning guardianship under Indiana guardianship laws?
 
 
There are some factors in play when determining if an individual is disabled and therefore unable to take care of themselves substantially.  The court notes age, mental illness, the effects of an accident and developmental disabilities from birth as factors that contribute to the need for an IN guardianship law relationship.  The protected person must be able to behave and control their life as a rational adult in order to ensure that they can avoid a relationship under IN guardianship law.
 
 
Can control of an estate be granted under Indiana guardianship laws?
 
 
Though it is not common, control of an estate and its management might be assigned under IN guardianship law.  It is more likely however, that a conservator will manage the estate and finances, possibly with the advice and consent of the guardian under IN guardianship law.
 
 
What powers are granted to the guardian under IN guardianship law?
 
 
Though each guardianship arrangement under IN guardianship law will differ with provisions assigned by the court, the general arrangement for guardianship will include control over medical treatment and decisions to provide a certain level of care.  The guardian might be assigned the power to accrue debt and borrow on behalf of the protected person, with limitations and scrutiny from the court, under IN guardianship law.  The responsibility granted will depend heavily on the prior relationship with the protected person, meaning that siblings, parents and children have more rights and responsible than friends and attorneys appointed under Indiana guardianship law.
 
 
Where is the IN guardianship law located?
 
 
You will find the Indiana guardianship laws pertaining to these arrangements in Indiana Code 29 Article 3.
 
 

Arkansas Guardianship Law

Arkansas Guardianship Law

 
 
Quick Guide to Arkansas Guardianships 
 
 
Arkansas Guardianship
 
 
Most laws concerning Arkansas guardianship are located under Title 9 Family Law of the state’s revised code.  For a complete listing of all Arkansas guardianship laws, visit the searchable code under the general assembly.   
 
 
If you are thinking about becoming certified for Arkansas guardianships, you should be fully aware of all state law, and you’ll usually want to talk with a lawyer to understand your complete rights and responsibilities as a guardian.  
 
 
Eligibility Factors for Arkansas Guardianships
 
 
Any U.S. citizen in the state of Arkansas can qualify as a guardian except those that are mentally incompetent or determined unsuitable by the court.  A person usually has to be a citizen of state, but a court will consider electing a nonresident if the decision meets the best interests of the court.    
 
 
If the Arkansas guardianship involves a minor child, immediate preference is usually given to the parent unless the court appoints another person who is more qualified.  If there has been evidence of abuse or neglect from either parent within a home, preference will usually be given to another qualified guardian.    
 
 
Additionally, a bank, trust company, or even private nonprofit corporations (in some cases) can act as the guardian of the estate.  Also, a guardian ad litem may help within a court proceeding to help the ward through the trial process (such as a lawyer helping a child within a child custody hearing).  
 
 
What is the Arkansas Subsidized Guardianship Act?
 
 
Arkansas guardianships under the Subsidized Guardianship Act receive funding—just as in foster care—from the Department of Human Services (DHS).  There are a large number of qualifying factors for these types of Arkansas guardianships, and section 9-8-204 of the state code lists qualifying factors: 
 
 
1. the child has been removed from the custody of their parents because continued care would decrease the welfare of the child
 
 
2. the department is responsible for the placement and care of the child
 
 
3. being returned home or being adopted is not an option for the child
 
 
4. permanent placement within an Arkansas guardianship meets the best interests of the child
 
 
5. the child demonstrates a strong attachment to the guardian and the guardians shows strong commitment to the child
 
 
6. if the child is 14, the child has been consulted regarding Arkansas guardianships
 
 
7. the guardian is qualified to a means-based test
 
 
8. if required, a certain degree or relationship exists between the child and the guardian
 
 
9. the child has special needs
 
 
How do I file for Arkansas Guardianships?
 
 
In order to file for an Arkansas guardianship, you’ll have to file a petition with the local court, undergo investigation from the court, testify in front of the court, and eventually be approved if a judge determines the guardianship is in the best interests of the ward.  In order to see if you qualify for Arkansas guardianship rights, you’ll have to contact your local county court and obtain information about filing a petition.  The state has a large amount of contact information for local courts at the following link
 
 

Kansas Guardianship Law

Kansas Guardianship Law

 
 
Quick Guide to Kansas Guardianships under the KGP
 
 
Kansas Guardianship
 
 
The majority of Kansas guardianships occur under the Kansas Guardianship Program (KGP).  In order to apply for guardianship in Kansas, a person must be over the age of 18, have no criminal background, show evidence of responsible finances, and show true concern in caring for the incapacitated adult.  
 
 
In order to start applying for Kansas guardianships, you’ll have to contact the Main Office at (785) 587-8555 or visit the office at 3248 Kimball Avenue in Manhattan KS, 66503. 
 
 
How do I Apply for Guardianship in the state of Kansas?
 
 
There are specific steps required for all Kansas guardianship regardless if the ward is an adult or minor.  These steps are in place to protect the ward: 
 
 
Step 1: File the Petition
 
 
An attorney will have to prepare the petition in the state of Kansas, and the form will need submitted to the district court by the person who needs a guardian.  The petition will require a large amount of specific information, and details about this information are located in section 13.2 of the link provided above.  
 
 
Step 2: Mandatory Orders
 
 
Once the court receives the petition for the Kansas guardianship, a number of mandatory orders will be instituted to fix the date of the trial, the appointment of attorneys, and for an evaluation if no report was attached to the petition.  
 
 
Step 3: Examination and Evaluation
 
 
Kansas guardianship require an licensed professional to complete a report on the ward’s physical and mental condition, cognitive abilities and limitations, adaptive behaviors, social skills, educational and developmental potential, recommendations for treatment and/or rehabilitation, and more if appropriate.  
 
 
Step 4: The Trial
 
 
A series of notices will be given to all parties involved in the Kansas guardianship before the trial, and the actual trial will be held before a judge or jury.  After the court has heard testimony, the judge will determine if the adult or minor with the impairment needs a Kansas guardianship or conservatorship.  
 
 
Step 5: Oath of Kansas Guardianships or Conservatorships
 
 
Before letters of appoint are issued, the individual or nonprofit corporation (acting as guardian of the estate) will have the ward write an oath of guardianship will discharges all duties specified by the court to the guardian.
 
 
Also, Kansas guardianships after January 1, 2009 require the guardian to file evidence with the court that they have completed basic instructional programs about the duties and responsibilities of a guardian or conservator before letters of appointment are issued. 
 
 
Step 6: Letters of Appointment
 
 
Once the letters of appointment have been officially filed for the Kansas guardianship, the guardian will begin taking care of the ward.  If a conservator is elected, they must submit an inventory of all the ward’s property and assets to the court within 30 days.  
 
 
For more information on responsibilities of a guardian in Kansas, visit the link provided at the beginning of this article.  
 
 

Utah Guardianship Law

Utah Guardianship Law

 
 
Quick Guide to Utah Guardianships
 
 
Utah Guardianships
 
 
Utah guardianship may be granted to a competent adult for a minor child or an incapacitated adult (the ward).  The procedures involved in a Utah guardianship for children are quite different compared to guardianships for adults, and for information on guardianships on minors, visit the official government website of Utah State Courts and use the following link to help you with preparing documents regarding a minor: 
 
 
Utah Guardianships and Responsibilities 
 
 
If an adult with a clean criminal background, strong credit history, and evidence of overall responsibility is chosen by the court for a Utah guardianship, the person may be responsible for any of the following: 
 
 
determining where the ward will live and what training, healthcare and education they will receive 
 
 
provide the ward with basic needs for food, clothing, shelter, and more
 
 
provide consent for medical and other professional care in certain situations if needed by the ward
 
 
keep all of the ward’s finances and assets accounted for
 
 
There is no state code that provides specific responsibilities within the Utah guardianship, and the letters of guardianship must identify each specific duty of the guardian before approved by the court.  
 
 
What Utah Guardianships are issued by the Court?
 
 
A court will establish a Utah guardianship in three different ways:  
 
 
Limited Guardianship
 
 
The judge will determine if a limited guardianship is necessary and appropriate while first establishing the guardianship, making modifications, or terminating the responsibilities all together.  This type of Utah guardianship allows the ward to keep some responsibilities and hand over certain rights to the guardian. 
 
 
Normal Guardianship
 
 
This type of Utah guardianship gives the competent adult more responsibility than a limited guardianship and the guardian will make decisions for a person with mental deficiency, physical disability, chronic use of drugs or intoxication, bad judgment, highly impaired memory, and/or severe loss of behavior control.  
 
 
Conservatorship
 
 
A conservator protects the money and property (the estate) of the ward.  If a person is elected as a conservator, they will have to report back to the court about the ward’s estate one or several times a year as determined by a judge.  
 
 
How do I file for a Utah Guardianship?
 
 
In order to file for Utah guardianships, you’ll have to file a petition with your district’s court, undergo investigation from the court, testify in front of the court, and eventually be approved if a judge determines the guardianship is in the best interests of the ward.  For a list of Utah courts, click on the link
 
 
Utah 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, 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.  
 
 

New Jersey Guardianship Law

New Jersey Guardianship Law

 
 
New Jersey Guardianship Laws:
 
 
In the state of New Jersey, at age 18, all individuals, including those with severe disabilities, reach the legal age of majority. This simply means that at the age of 18, parents can no longer make decisions legally on behalf of their kids, regardless of the nature of their disability and regardless of whether the children still live with their family. 
Some New Jersey families will consider New Jersey Guardianship as an option for a family member. A New Jersey Guardian is defined as any person or agency appointed by a court to act on behalf of a person. 
 
 
How Do I Establish NJ Guardianship?
 
 
Establishing NJ guardianship is a legal process that ultimately requires the inclusion of the Bureau of Guardianship Services at the Department of Human Services. New Jersey Guardianship; however, may be established without this agency’s help. 
 
 
In all matters, New Jersey Guardianship must be viewed as a solution of last resort, because it strips an individual’s fundamental right of self-determination. Before applying for New Jersey Guardianship you should observe alternatives that may be more suitable for your family member.
Before applying for New Jersey Guardianship you must be aware, as a parent, of the following:
 
 
NJ guardianship law states that parents of a New Jersey Guardianship can remain involved in their child’s medical issues and may be asked to provide consent as next-of-kin in emergency situations
 
 
NJ guardianship law declares that all applications for New Jersey Guardianship require up-to-date assessments from either a psychiatrist or psychologist or from a licensed medical doctor
 
 
NJ guardianship law declares that guardianships may be family members, other interested parties or agencies such as the Bureau of Guardianship Services. NJ guardianship law declares that Co-guardians may also be named. A co-guardian in New Jersey refers to the following:
 
o NJ guardianship law declares that more than one individual appointed as a guardian; each individual possesses uniform decision-making authority
 
o NJ guardianship law declares that The Bureau will never act as a co-guardian
 
o NJ guardianship law declares that Co-guardians must be involved together in consents and decisions required for the individual. 
 
 
Limited New Jersey Guardianships:
 
 
Guardianship of the individual may take one of two forms: limited or general
 
 
General New Jersey Guardianships:
 
 
Often referred to as ‘plenary New Jersey guardianships’
 
 
NJ guardianship law recommends these for people who are found incapable of expressing or making decisions
Limited New Jersey Guardianships:
 
 
Limited New Jersey Guardianships cover decision-making concerning educational, residential, legal, vocational, medical and financial issues
 
 
Limited New Jersey Guardianships are appropriate for individuals who are found capable of expressing or making some, but not all, life decisions. 
 
 
Family Options for New Jersey Guardianships:
 
 
New Jersey families must be aware that are awarded the following options with regards to New Jersey guardianships:
 
 
1. Individuals may appoint Powers of Attorney to render decisions on his or her behalf.
 
a. NJ guardianship law declares that those individuals with disabilities are required to understand—on a rudimentary level—that they are appointing someone to make decisions on their behalf
 
b. NJ guardianship law declares that the individual appointing a power of attorney must be able to agree to the decision
 
c. NJ guardianship law declares that the power of attorney may cover a property and/or a person
 
d. Powers of attorney—according to New Jersey guardianship laws—may be revoked and/or changed at any juncture, based on evolving needs
 
e. Powers of attorneys are significantly less costly than NJ Guardianships
 
f. Based on NJ guardianship law , it is suggested that you with a legal professional to establish powers of attorneys
 
 
2. New Jersey families may pursue New Jersey guardianships without the inclusion of an attorney
 
a. The individual seeking guardianship must represent him or herself in the court of law
 
i. The exclusion of an attorney in these situations eliminates the cost of hiring a legal professional to file a petition
 
ii. Without an attorney the party still must satisfy the following costs: New Jersey guardianships assessments rendered by a physician or psychologist, court fees and the required court-appointed attorney to represent the person. 
 
 
3. New Jersey families may hire a legal specialist at their own accord to complete the entire process for them
 
a. Relatives or interested parties may opt to pursue appointment as a New Jersey guardian privately, at their own expense
 
 
4. Families may ask the New Jersey Guardianship Services to process guardianship petition; however…
 
a. Roughly 4,000 requests are currently pending
 
b. The process is required for New Jersey Guardianships of the person only
 
c. Families seeking New Jersey Guardianship with regards to property should hire an attorney
 
 
Applying for New Jersey Guardianship:
 
 
Forms and instructions for New Jersey Guardianships may be found here.
 
 
To receive services funded by the Division of Developmental Disabilities, individuals must apply to become eligible. The criteria regarding eligibility is outlined by New Jersey state law. The application process for New Jersey Guardianships is lengthy and time-consuming; the Division of Developmental Disabilities requires exhaustive documentation to help determine whether a person’s functional limitations fall within eligibility criteria. 
 
 
As a general rule, to receive Division of developmental Disability-funded services, an individual must show that they possess a chronic physical, severe and/or mental impairment that:
 
 
Manifests before the age of 22
 
 
Is lifelong and aggressively limits the individual in least three of the following life activities: learning; mobility, communication; self-direction; economic self-sufficiency; the ability to live independently and self-face
 
 

Virginia Guardianship Law

Virginia Guardianship Law

 
 
Why is a Virginia Guardianship Important?
 
 
Guardianship legally affirms an individual as a caretaker for a child with out-of-home care while maintaining the child’s parents’ rights. In Virginia, guardians and conservators are appointed by the state to protect incapacitated persons (individual who cannot make decisions with aid). Only circuit judges in the state of Virginia may decide that an individual is incapacitated; only circuit judges may affirm a Virginia guardianship. 
 
 
A Virginia guardianship’s authority is somewhat broad, for it can be limited to rendering specific decisions. Typically a Virginia Guardianship will render health care and personal decisions but also may be responsible for other decisions that are social in nature (IE visitation issues). The extent of a Virginia guardian’s authority is set forth in a circuit judge’s order and in the Virginia code. 
 
 
The Establishment of a Virginia guardianship removes an individual’s right to make decisions for him/herself. As a result, a Virginia guardianship is typically believed to be a last resort option. Virginia guardianships should only be used when are no less invasive or restrictive alternatives that will protect the interest of the incapacitated party. 
 
 
The primary reason to have a guardianship in place to streamline the delivery of medical treatment required by a disabled person. Medical professionals and medical facilities may refuse to perform needed—but non-emergency procedures—on disabled patients without legally authorized consent. Guardianship bypasses this impediment by providing said consent in an efficient manner.
 
 
Types of Virginia Guardianship:
 
 
When a Virginia circuit judge decides that a Virginia guardianship is necessary for an incapacitated party, the judge possesses significant flexibility in determining what authority to give the conservatory or guardian. The circuit judge may render specific provisions to preserve as much of the disabled party’s independence as possible. Listed below are the different types of Virginia guardianships:
Full Virginia Guardianship:
 
 
A Virginia Guardianship—unless specifically appointed by a court order—provides full decision-making responsibility for all personal and personal care decisions for the disabled party. Full Virginia Guardianship, again, is only applied as a last resort means—there are no less restrictive methods that provide needed protection. Full VA guardianships are required to report  to the local department of social services regarding the care provided to the incapacitated adult. Said reports are prepared on court documents issued by the Office of Executive Secretary of The Virginia Supreme Court and delivered to the Virginia guardian by the Clerk of the Circuit Court
Limited Virginia Guardianship:
 
 
These types of Virginia Guardianships are used when decisional aid is only required for specific tasks—these forms of Virginia guardianships do not require the guardian to make all decisions for the incapacitated. For instance, an incapacitated adult may be able to decide certain things as it pertain to their daily life, but need help making health care decisions. In this instance, a judge will appoint a limited VA guardianship to make health care decisions, leaving the incapacitated free to render all other decisions. These forms of VA guardianships possess the same responsibility as full guardians to report annually to the local department of social services concerning the care provided to the disabled or incapacitated party. 
Standby Virginia Guardianship:
 
 
These types of VA guardianships are people who become the guardian of the incapacitated person when the individual is currently responsible for providing care dies. This type of Virginia guardianship allows parents to plan for the care of a disabled child after they die. This form of a VA guardianship will not assume any duties until the death of both parents. 
 
 
Frequently Asked Questions Pertaining to Virginia Guardianships:
 
 
How Will I know if a Person needs a Guardian or a Conservator?
 
 
Virginia guardianships are required for people:
 
o VA guardianship is required for people with functional capacity impediments; these problems obstruct the individual from caring for their own basic needs 
 
o VA guardianship is required for people who are at risk of substantial harm
 
o VA guardianship is required for people who have no family members or other people in their lives available to assume responsibility for helping them
What are the Primary Duties of a Virginia Guardianship?
 
 
A Virginia Guardianship places the following responsibilities on the guardian: make decisions concerning how the disabled or incapacitated person lives, including decisions regarding medical treatment, social activity and residence issues. 
 
 

Massachusetts Guardianship Law

Massachusetts Guardianship Law

 
 
What is Massachusetts Guardianship of a Minor?
 
 
You can serve as the legal guardian of a minor child if his or her parents are unfit or unavailable to care for the youth. To secure a Massachusetts Guardianship of a minor, you will have to complete court documents and then file said documents with the Probate and Family Court in the county where you reside. 
 
 
A Massachusetts guardianship will be appointed if the prospective child’s birth parents are unfit, unavailable or dead. A Massachusetts parent may consent to Massachusetts Guardianship by signing an assent in front of a notary. If the child is currently living with his or her parents, the court will only appoint a Massachusetts Guardianship if there is strong evidence that the parents are unfit to care for the child. This standard is ultimately difficult to prove; Massachusetts Probate and Family courts do not require (or expect) ideal parents, only adequate ones. 
 
 
A Massachusetts guardianship possesses almost the same powers and responsibilities of a parent concerning a child’s care, education, support, welfare and health. MA guardianships cam make several routine decisions regarding the child’s daily life—and unless the court states otherwise—whether the birth parents may visit the child. 
 
 
If the birth parents are able to care for the youth, but require period assistance, then they must—according to MA guardianship law– sign a Caregiver Authorization allowing the caregiver to care for the child. In this sense, the parent retains all obligations and rights and may revoke the authorization at any time. The form required for Caregiver Authorization is located here and here
 
 
Is a Massachusetts Guardianship Allowed to Manage the Minor’s Money and Property?
 
 
A Massachusetts guardianship assumes a role similar to that of a birth parent. Massachusetts guardianships use the child’s money for the child’s education, welfare and health. A Massachusetts guardianship can manage moderate amounts of the youth’s money and is eligible for receiving up to $5,000 per year to use on the youth’s behalf. An MA guardianship can also become the youth’s representative payee for authority to receive social security income for the youth. 
 
 
Who is Allowed to Become a Massachusetts Guardianship?
 
 
A Massachusetts guardianship must be at least 18 years of age and must live in the United States. Moreover, prospective Massachusetts guardianships must be ruled competent to care for the youth. The applicant must satisfy the Court’s requirements to deem that he/she can serve as the child’s legal guardian. After reviewing the applicant’s basic information, the Court will check the prospective Massachusetts guardianship’s criminal record and their database to see if the child has been involved with the Department of Children and Families. Prospective Massachusetts guardianships do not need to be related to the youth. Moreover, a child— according to MA guardianship law —can have two Massachusetts guardianships. 
 
 
What is the Difference between Massachusetts Guardianships and Adopting?
 
 
A Massachusetts guardianship does not serve as the child’s legal parent. Appointment of Massachusetts guardianships does not cut ties with the birth parent’s responsibilities and rights—the birth parent(s) may still visit the child with the Massachusetts guardianship’s permission or via court order. Moreover, the Court may return custody to the child’s birth parents at any time. Only when birth parents place their children for adoption—or when their parental rights are terminated by the state—will they relinquish all responsibilities and rights toward the child. Massachusetts Guardianships are not permanent legal relationships because parents or interested parties will seek to have the Massachusetts Guardianship removed, and because many Massachusetts Guardianships expire when the youth turns 18. 
 
 
Will the Massachusetts Guardianship Need to Notify Anyone of the Petition?
 
 
A Massachusetts Guardianship must comply with all of the court’s instructions to notify interested parties, including:
 
 
MA Guardianship provisions include: the Veterans Administration if the department owes the youth any benefits
 
 
MA Guardianship provisions include: The child, if above the age of 14
 
 
MA Guardianship provisions include: Any conservator or guardian for the child; and
 
 
MA Guardianship provisions include: Any individual with whom the youth has lived during the past 60 days (foster parents not included).
 
 
MA Guardianship provisions include: The child’s parents or the child’s nearest alive relatives over the age of 18
 
 
The state court—based on MA Guardianship law–requires notice the all of the above; petitioners for Massachusetts Guardianships must be able to show the Court that the above party’s received a copy of the citation and the petition. Mail is not sufficient to prove this. 
 
 
Where Do I File a Massachusetts Guardianship?
 
 
A Massachusetts Guardianship petition must be filed in the Family and Probate Court in the Massachusetts County where the youth lives. The child must generally reside in the state for six months for the Court to have jurisdiction to listen to a petition for Massachusetts Guardianships. If the child lives outside of Massachusetts, the petition for Massachusetts Guardianships must be filed in the state or country where the youth lives. 
 
 
The necessary documents required to file a petition for Massachusetts Guardianships can be found on the trial court’s webpage, located here
 
 
How Much Does it Cost to Petition for a Massachusetts Guardianship?
 
 
There are no filing fees for a petition of a MA Guardianship. The petitioner is required—according to MA Guardianships–to pay for the cost providing notice to the birth parents and other interested persons. Moreover, MA Guardianships require a $50 filing fee for a bond with sureties. The Massachusetts state court will typically not require a bond with sureties. Prospective Massachusetts Guardianships who cannot afford to satisfy said fees may ask the Court to waive these charges.
 
 
When does a Massachusetts Guardianship End?
 
 
Massachusetts Guardianships typically end when the youth reaches the age of 18 or when the child is adopted, marriages or when a judge determines that the Massachusetts guardianship is deemed no longer necessary. MA guardianships may also resign with permission of the Court. State courts may also remove the MA guardianship at the request of another party or on its own initiative.