A guardianship is a court order giving someone the right to make decisions for another. The person who the guardianship is over, the ward, must be incapacitated either because of a disability or because they are a minor. A guardianship can be obtained over an incapacitated individual’s person, property, or both. To qualify as someone else’s guardian, you must: (1) be at least eighteen years old, (2) not have any unpardoned felony conviction, and (3) be a resident of Arkansas.
A guardianship is useful if you need to make important decisions (such as housing, medical care, or financial decisions) for someone who cannot make decisions for themselves. A guardianship allows the guardian to protect the ward and/or the ward’s finances. A guardianship ensures that the guardian will have access to the ward’s sensitive or important information, such as medical or financial records.
A guardianship does require the approval of a judge. A person seeking a guardianship must file a petition at their local circuit courthouse and have a hearing before a judge on the petition. If the guardianship is for a disabled adult, the disability must be proved by medical evidence (this can be accomplished through a sworn statement provided by the disabled adult’s doctor).
Oftentimes a guardianship will be needed by parents of a special needs child who is reaching adulthood, or adult children of an elderly parent is who experiencing dementia. A guardianship may also be needed for a minor child whose parents have either passed away or can no longer care for the child. If you need assistance in obtaining a guardianship contact us for a free consultation. For more information on guardianships, check out our Law Blog and FAQ pages on this website.