Skilled Elkhart County Guardianship Attorneys

Guardianships are sometimes necessary to provide care for two different groups of individuals:

  1. incapacitated adults; and
  2. minors

Incapacitated person

An incapacitated person is someone who does not have the ability to care for themselves, their finances or both. This can be due to trauma, disease, mental illness or aging. A medical diagnosis and determination of incapacity is required.

Notice of the guardianship proceeding is sent to the incapacitated persons next of kin and a court hearing is required. Often the court will appoint a Guardian ad litem, usually an attorney, to represent the best interest of the incapacitated person. The Guardian ad litem will interview all interested parties and make a recommendation to the court.

A guardian is then appointed by the court to care for the incapacitated person and their finances. A guardian is held to the highest standard of care for the incapacitated individual. This is called a fiduciary duty.

A guardian is issued Letters of Guardianship which serve as verification of the guardian’s authority to act on behalf of the incapacitated person.

Occasionally, two persons can be appointed guardians of one individual. This is called a co-guardianship.

Minors

A guardianship of a minor can be created for many reasons. Parents may become unable to care for their child for a period of time due to illness, physical absence, or refusing to appropriately parent their child. The guardian steps into the shoes of caregiver for that period of time.

A legal guardianship grants the guardian the authority to provide care and custody, seek medical treatment and make educational decisions for the minor. The guardian is responsible for the daily care and safety of the minor.

Parental consent for a guardianship is required, however, if the parent does not consent a court hearing is held and the judge decides whether the guardianship is necessary.

Parental rights are not terminated after the creation of the guardianship. Parents still have the right to all information regarding their child and can petition the court at any time to challenge the guardian’s decisions or to terminate the guardianship.

Further, the guardian and the parents may simply agree to terminate the guardianship when it is no longer necessary. They must present their agreement to the court for a court order to terminate the guardianship.

No matter what type of guardianship you need to establish for a loved one, our law firm is ready and able to guide you through the legal process. Our attorneys aim to provide a high level of professional but personal service to each client, and they will be skilled, knowledgeable advocates for you from start to finish.

Contact Us

To discuss your guardianship matter with an experienced lawyer, call us today at 574-281-0074 or send an email using our secure online form. Our office hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. We accept MasterCard and Visa credit card payments.