Quick Guide to Iowa Guardianships
Most laws concerning Iowa guardianships are located in Iowa Code Chapter 633.557. For a complete listing of all Iowa guardianship laws, visit the updated searchable code under the Iowa Legislature.
The majority of the information about an IA guardianship within this article is found under the Iowa State Association of Counties (ISAC). For information to expand on this article.
Eligibility Factors for IA Guardianship
Any U.S. citizen in the state of Iowa can qualify for an IA guardianship except those that are mentally incompetent or determined unsuitable by the court. A person usually has to be a citizen of Iowa, but a court will consider a nonresident if the circumstances are right.
If the Iowa guardianship involves a minor child, immediate preference is given to the parent unless the court appoints another person who is more qualified. Iowa Codes 633.559 and Iowa Code 633.571 discuss Iowa guardianships involving minor children.
Additionally, a bank, trust company, or even private nonprofit corporations (in some cases) can act as the guardian of the estate. Nonprofit regulations are covered in Iowa Code 633.63-64.
What Iowa Guardianships are issued by the Court?
A court will establish an Iowa guardianship in three different ways:
The court will determine if a limited IA guardianship is necessary and appropriate while first establishing the guardianship, making modifications, or terminating the responsibilities all together. The limited functions of such an Iowa guardianship are covered in Iowa Code 633.635.
These Iowa guardianships are rare. They can only occur in certain circumstances, and a court must establish this type of IA guardianship as well.
This type of IA guardianship is covered under Iowa Code 633.558 and only lasts for a specific period of time (e.g. When a minor turns 18).
What are Specific Responsibilities of a Guardian?
Iowa guardianships require all of the following duties:
• providing care, comfort, and maintenance for the ward—sometimes including training and education
• the maintenance and care of the ward’s clothing, furniture, vehicle, and other personal property
• helping the ward receive necessary medical treatment
• helping the ward to become independent
• help the ward receive professional care, counseling, treatment, or any other related service
The court may also determine that the Iowa guardianship requires the following responsibilities in some cases:
• changing the ward’s residence at request if the next living arrangement restrict the ward’s liberties more
• arranging for elected surgery or any other medical procedure
• consent for withdrawing or withholding life-sustaining procedures
How do I file for an Iowa Guardianship?
In order to file for Iowa guardianships, 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 guardianships is in the best interests of the ward. In order to find contact information and more valuable information about your local county court, call the ISAC at (515) 244-7181.