Indianapolis Family Law Guardianship Attorney
Guardianship is a relationship ordered by the court in which a person (guardian) is vested with legal authority to make decisions on behalf of another person (ward). Obtaining guardianship of a child or incapacitated adult may be necessary for several different circumstances.
Our family law attorneys at Trapp Law, LLC have significant experience handling guardianship cases. We understand the sensitive nature of guardianship and all other family law matters and are committed to seeking the most favorable outcomes in guardianship matters. Contact us in Indianapolis, IN if you need legal assistance in establishing guardianship of a child or an adult.
When Is a Guardian Appointed by the Court?
Guardianship may be necessary for different circumstances. The court may appoint a guardian:
- For a minor child, if the parents are deceased and the child is not being adopted
- For a person with special needs whose parents (or a single parent with sole custody) are deceased
- For a child with special needs who has become an adult
- For adults incapacitated by traumatic brain injury or a medical condition such as Alzheimer’s or dementia
- For a child living with an adult who is not the child’s parent (such as a grandparent or relative)
- For a minor child with financial assets (for example a bequest in a will) that are being managed by an adult
Guardianship and Grandparents
Grandparents’ rights are limited. Guardianship is an effective legal tool available to grandparents and other third parties who have children left in their care. When guardianship is granted by the court, it allows grandparents to care for grandchildren left in their care in the same way as natural parents.
What Does a Legal Guardian Do?
A legal guardian is appointed by the court to provide care for a minor child or an adult. It is the guardian’s responsibility to ensure a child’s basic needs are met. This includes food, shelter, clothing, education, and medical care. A guardian acts in the best interests of the child, much like a parent.
Guardianship duties may also involve managing finances of a minor child or incapacitated adult. In such cases, guardians serve in a fiduciary capacity and are required to file financial reports with the court.
What Is Involved in Adult Guardianship?
People are living longer now because of advances in medical technology. This may increase the importance and prevalence of adult guardianship in the future. Guardianship is often sought for adults who are deemed incapacitated and unable to care for themselves as a result of Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other causes.
The level of responsibility a guardian has for an adult will depend on the circumstances and the determination of the court. Adult guardianship may involve financial and personal care decisions. Any guardian responsible for an adult’s financial well-being will have a fiduciary duty and be required to report to the court.
Do You Need an Attorney to Obtain Guardianship?
Guardianship matters can be complex, whether they concern a child or an incapacitated adult. When guardianship duties include financial management, it creates a fiduciary duty and reporting requirements to the court.
At Trapp Law, LLC in Indianapolis, we have extensive experience and knowledge in guardianship matters. Our family law attorneys can skillfully guide you through the process of seeking guardianship and serving as a guardian. Your case and situation are unique, and our process is always based upon the facts in the case, the situation, and how to best seek a positive resolution – it is never a “one-size-fits-all” proposition with our firm – expect personal attention and care.