What is a Guardianship?

A guardian is a person who is appointed by the guardianship court who makes decisions for someone who is incapacitated. Someone may need a guardian if they are determined to be incapacitated and if no alternatives to guardianship exist. A person is considered incapacitated when he or she is at significant risk of personal harm and they cannot provide for his or her own health, housing and/or physical safety. The person who has received the guardianship is known as the protected person who the guardian is supposed to support and inhibit from making their own decisions.

Unless there are limitations that the court proposes, the guardian has total authority over the protected person’s personal and financial decisions. This includes who will care for the person, how the finances will be handled and where the person will live and if it will include medical help. The guardian must evaluate the person’s income and expenses and make decisions accordingly. They can create a personal care plan and each year a report will be filed with the court showcasing how the income and expenses were utilized and update as needed.

Before a guardianship is decided, the notice of guardianship petition must be delivered to the person named. The court must designate a guardian to perform an investigation and those findings will be presented to the court. The court can arrange a limited guardianship for those who can take care of themselves but are limited in other aspects. After the petition for the guardianship has been filed, the court appoints a guardian temporarily on behalf of the incapacitate person while the investigation is being conducted. This process can take anywhere from two weeks up to a couple of months.

Contact our office today at (206) 408-8158 for a consultation or if you have any questions or need help with a Guardianship for someone you know. You can read more about guardianships or estate planning on our website dallawfirm.com or email us at darcel@dallawfirm.com. We look forward to assisting you!

Contact us:

19803 1st Avenue S.
Suite 200
Normandy Park, WA 98148

T (206) 408-8158
F (206) 374-2810

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