Below are some frequently asked questions about Guardianship:
What is guardianship?
Guardianship is a legal relationship that enables a court-appointed person to make decisions on behalf of another person who cannot make decisions for themself.
Guardianship relationships are typical for children who do not have a mom or dad in the picture, and people with mental disabilities who do not have the capacity to control their own healthcare decisions or finances.
What are the roles and responsibilities of a guardian?
Guardians can fulfill several roles on behalf of the “ward,” or the individual under their care. Primarily, guardians act as surrogate decision-makers and advocates for their wards.
This does not mean that guardians have complete and total control over their wards, but that they are responsible for stepping in for decisions outside the wards’ comprehension or judgment. Guardians must protect their wards’ rights to make their own choices where able and applicable.
How do you obtain guardianship?
Guardianship is a legal relationship, and as such, it involves a legal, court-ordered process.
First, you must determine the type of guardianship relationship to seek. North Carolina law recognizes three guardianship relationships:
- Guardian of the estate: A guardian appointed to manage a person’s property and business affairs
- Guardian of the person: A guardian appointed to perform duties related to the care and custody of the ward
- General guardian: A guardian that performs duties for the estate and care of the ward
Then, you must file the appropriate documents with the clerk of courts. The clerk will then schedule a hearing that you and all interested parties must attend.
How can an attorney help?
Navigating guardianship can be confusing for those with no legal background. If you’re seeking guardianship of a ward or need help altering a guardian relationship, having a guardianship attorney on your side can be highly beneficial.
Family lawyers for guardianship know this process like the back of their hands, allowing them to provide experienced, tailored advice and guidance. Your legal guardian attorney can help you determine which type of guardianship to seek, walk you through the legal process, and ensure that you fulfill your roles and relationships according to NC laws.
Alternatively, a guardianship attorney can help you end or alter a guardian relationship in which you are the ward of the guardian.
Contact our guardianship attorneys today at the Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division for assistance. Call us at (910) 769-7339 or fill out our contact form to request your consultation.
Speaks Law Firm, PC Family Law Division
300 N. 3rd St. Suite 310
Wilmington, NC 28401