Helping Clients Safeguard the Best Interests of Their Incapacitated Loved Ones
It’s generally understood that every American has the right to make their own decisions and care for themselves. However, the unfortunate truth is that many people are unable to do this. Whether it’s due to a severe injury, developmental disability, or simply old age — many individuals cannot make important decisions on their own. If you have a loved one in such a position, Utah courts might grant you the ability to make such decisions. A guardianship attorney in South Jordan may be able to help.
At RCG Law Group, our experienced family law firm has spent years helping clients care for their incapacitated loved ones. Unfortunately, some people simply don’t have the capacity to make personal care, living, and financial decisions on their own. Without a court order allowing someone else to intervene, an individual’s government benefits, income, properties, and other assets could be in danger. Even worse, their physical well-being could be at risk.
Schedule your confidential consultation with a South Jordan guardianship lawyer at RCG Law Group today. We’re here to help.
How Do Guardianships Work in Utah?
When the courts decide that a person is unable to make decisions on their own, they may appoint a guardian to assist with such decisions. A guardianship is a legal relationship that grants one person (i.e., the guardian) the legal authority and responsibility to make decisions for another person. Such an arrangement is only granted when it’s established that the other person (i.e., the ward) is incapacitated and unable to make such decisions on their own.
Incapacitation could be due to age, disability, illness, or other factors. Guardianships can be granted over children, developmentally disabled adults, individuals with severe mental illness, and elderly persons suffering from cognitive decline. Once granted, a legal guardian has a responsibility to make decisions that are in the best interest of the ward. Such decisions typically include living arrangements, medical attention, education, and sometimes even estate planning.
However, such decision-making authority is not absolute. The courts may put certain limitations on what a guardian can and cannot do. This is why any potential guardian should discuss their situation with an experienced legal professional. At RCG Law Group, our guardianship attorneys in South Jordan can help you understand your options and how to best move forward.
How to Establish a Guardianship in South Jordan, UT
There are different types of guardianships, and the rules affecting these legal arrangements can vary based on whether a guardian is being appointed over a child or adult. When it comes to establishing a guardianship over an adult — such as those with serious injuries or an intellectual or developmental disability — the process can be complicated. This is evidenced by the many steps involved in the process under Utah law:
- Petition the courts to appoint a guardian
- Serve the petition and notice of hearing to appropriate parties
- The respondent
- The respondent’s spouse, adult children, parents
- The closest adult relative of the respondent
- The person nominated as guardian
- Other interested parties under Utah law
- Comply with the steps necessary based on your situation (e.g., legal representation for respondent, attending hearings for objections)
- Court examination of the potential ward
- Attend court date for the hearing where the judge will consider various factors
- Provide evidence of incapacity in court
- Show evidence that there’s a need for authority
- Take pre-appointment test
- Receive letter of guardianship
- Serve as guardian and comply with reporting requirements
While these steps may seem straightforward, the fact is that Utah law can greatly complicate matters. Even when there’s no dispute that someone needs a guardianship established, the legal requirements of setting up such an arrangement are complex. This is why working with a guardianship lawyer in South Jordan is so important before moving forward. At RCG Law Group, we’ll help you navigate this challenging process so your loved one is finally in good hands.
What Are Guardianship and Conservatorship Differences?
A guardianship can grant the guardian a high level of authority for making decisions for the ward. If you’ve looked into the law in Utah, though, you may have heard this legal arrangement referred to as a conservatorship. Guardianship and conservatorship are often used interchangeably. However, there are some differences under Utah law. The major variations between these legal arrangements have to do with the types of decisions granted to the petitioning party.
For instance, a guardian is typically granted the authority to make decisions regarding the personal well-being of the ward. For instance, a parent may be given the right to make decisions for their adult child regarding education, living arrangements, and informed consent in healthcare issues. However, a conservator is typically granted the authority to make decisions regarding financial matters and property management. A judge can review a petition and decide what is appropriate.
It’s important to make sure you’re taking the right approach regarding the care of your loved one. A guardianship attorney in South Jordan can guide you through this process. RCG Law Group is here to assist you during these difficult times.
Contact Our Guardianships Attorneys in South Jordan Today
The guardianship process can be a difficult one. Even in situations where no one contests the decision — and when your loved one is on board — these legal proceedings are often challenging and dynamic. The simple fact is that Utah values individual rights, and transferring the decisions of someone’s personal affairs to another person is taken seriously. Fortunately, an experienced legal professional can guide you through guardianship proceedings and simplify the process.
At RCG Law Group, we’ve seen the difficulties an incapacitated person can face. Far too often, these individuals don’t have a family member who cares enough to intervene. This can lead to individuals becoming wards of the state or experiencing tragic outcomes. However, there is a process that can minimize the risk of such consequences. When you decide to petition the court to become a loved one’s guardian, having a South Jordan guardianship attorney on your side can prove invaluable.