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Becoming a Guardian in Raleigh

Obtaining a guardianship over another adult carries significant authority and responsibility under the law. Not only must a person demonstrate that they will fulfill this role with the best intentions, but they must also show that the proposed subject requires this type of protection. A court will only create an order of guardianship if a petitioner is able to show that the proposed subject is unable to care for their own needs, such as making decisions about their health or finances. If you wish to provide care for a loved one, speak to an attorney about becoming a guardian in Raleigh. A knowledgeable lawyer can help you acquire the necessary paperwork, understand the laws that govern these petitions, and craft petitions that satisfy the state’s requirements.

The Legal Process of Becoming a Guardian

Courts will only grant powers of guardianship under very specific circumstances. This is because there is a presumption that an adult can protect their own self-interests and should have every opportunity to do so. Accordingly, a petition for guardianship must demonstrate that a proposed ward lacks the ability to care for their own needs.

Multidisciplinary Evaluation

To make this determination, a court may demand the completion of a multidisciplinary evaluation, as described by North Carolina General Statute § 35A-1111. This form, completed by medical professional or social worker, should indicate that the proposed ward needs substantial help to care for their own welfare.

Guardianship Hearing

During the hearing, other parties may wish to present their own opinions on the matter. For this reason, a petition must include notice to other potentially interested parties, such as family members. The court may also appoint a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the proposed ward. This person provides legal representation for the proposed ward during the session. A lawyer can provide more information about the legal complexities of seeking guardianship powers over another person in Raleigh.

Determining Whether Guardianship is the Right Choice

The most important part of pursuing a guardianship is determining whether this is the right choice for you and the potential ward. The main thing to consider is whether the proposed ward is truly incapacitated. A court will demand medical documentation that indicates that the proposed ward is unable to care for their own wellbeing.

Potential reasons for establishing a guardianship could include:

  • Mental disability
  • Physical disability
  • Advanced age or the onset of dementia

The other aspect to keep in mind is that guardians have a legal duty to protect their wards. The court may follow up on the progress of the relationship, and other concerned parties may raise questions if they suspect abuse or fraud. For this reason, it is important for those considering a guardianship to first consult an experienced attorney in their area.

Speak with a Lawyer about Becoming a Guardian in Raleigh 

The law says that a court must only grant guardianship powers over another adult if the proposed ward is unable to care for their own wellbeing. As such, this process involves various application requirements and court sessions before the court will grant a guardianship.  A seasoned lawyer can help you to gather the necessary documentation to request guardianship powers over another person. An attorney can also help you to better understand your duties as a guardian and what you must do to avoid legal complications. Contact our firm today to learn more about becoming a guardian in Raleigh.