How Do I Become a Court-Appointed Guardian?

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A court-appointed guardian is an individual who has powers conferred by a judge to manage the business and daily life activities of another person. Court-appointed guardians act on behalf of minors and adults. When a judge awards guardianship to an individual, that individual acquires a fiduciary duty toward the ward (the person over whom the individual exercises guardianship). A fiduciary duty refers to the nature of trust between the ward and the guardian. The guardian must always act in the best interests of the ward.

  • Request and complete a petition for guardianship from the court in charge of the guardianship process (usually the court in the county where the ward resides). You should include information about the ward, including age and why the ward cannot care for himself. You should also include information about your relationship to the ward.

  • File the petition for guardianship in court. Choose a court in the state where the ward lives. Submit the proper filing fee.

  • Await a scheduled interview. The court will likely send a court investigator to assess your living situation and your aptitude to be a guardian. Comply with any requests made by the court investigator promptly. The investigator will give a recommendation to the judge in the case regarding your guardianship application.

  • Attend the court hearing. Be prepared to present your case before the judge at the hearing. The court investigator's recommendation also will be scrutinized during the hearing.

  • Wait for a decision from the court. The court will issue a written decision indicating whether you will be appointed as a guardian. The court must determine whether your guardianship is in the best interests of the ward.

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  • Photo Credit BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images
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