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What you should know about appointing a guardianship

When you are asked, appointed or believe that you would be doing the right thing to become the guardian of someone who is no longer able tend to his or her personal affairs, you will need to petition the court. However, be prepared to submit both an up-to-date credit report and have the record of your criminal history checked.

If you are petitioning to become a guardian, the county in which the person requiring a guardian (also known as a respondent) resides is where you may file. The same can be said for instances where you are petitioning due to a need for a substitute guardian on a temporary basis or an emergency guardianship.

If a court ordered the respondent to live within an institution, you may file in the county in which the court order was issued. Also, a person concerned with the respondent's welfare may also file a case.

In a situation where the Respondent becomes incapacitated, you may be appointed to a guardianship by the court and given certain restrictions. However, it is also possible that you will not be issued restrictions.

Navigating through the restrictions and requirements put upon a guardian is no easy feat. An attorney knowledgeable in elder law may be able to assist in your filing of the petition and following through with your duties while you serve as a guardian. Becoming a guardian is only the first step and the right attorney can see you through subsequent steps of upholding the obligations that fall within the realm of your new role.

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