Guardianship for Adults in Norman

At times, a need arises to gain legal guardianship of an adult. A legal adult guardianship is a right given to another person to allow that person to be responsible for the health and care of an adult who is deemed partially or fully incapable of providing life's necessities. Responsibilities include food, healthcare, housing, clothing, bathing and other daily essentials. A guardianship may or may not include a conservatorship, which gives the responsible party control over the finances of the adult who is incapable of managing his or her financial matters.

The attorneys at Smalley Law Firm in Norman, OK, have experience with all facets of adult guardianship. We will ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities, as well as the expectations of care you will be expected to give.

When is a Guardian Required for an Adult?

A petition for legal guardian ship for an adult may be necessary if:

  • The person has mental or physical disabilities or problems that prevent him or her from meeting their daily basic needs.
  • The adult is in danger of substantial harm if he or she tries to care for his or her own needs.
  • The incapable person does not already have someone who is legally authorized to assume responsibility for him or her.

Under certain emergency circumstances, the court may require an immediate and temporary guardian of an individual during a crisis situation. For example, if an adult suffers traumatic brain injuries in a car wreck, the court may assign an emergency guardian until the injured victim regains the ability to care for his or her own needs.

Adult Guardianship Duties

The guardian's role is to meet the daily necessities of the incapable adult. However, it is not enough just to meet the basic necessities. The guardian must consider the wishes of the adult whom they are over, make sure the person lives in the least restrictive environment as possible, and is given the most appropriate social opportunities and medical care.

Court Supervision of the Adult Guardianship

After the initial appointment of guardianship, a court review will be scheduled to ensure the guardian is making sound choices. After the first review, annual reports will be required to be given to the court by the guardian. The court supervision is in place to ensure the legally incapable adult is benefiting from the guardianship and that all needs are met.

Ending an Adult Guardianship

The court that appointed the guardianship can also terminate the arrangement. In most cases, the court will end the adult guardianship if the incapacitated person recognizes a recovery from the circumstances that deemed it necessary to appoint a guardian. Under certain circumstances, the court may end a guardianship if the guardian is not fulfilling his or her duties, or if the guardian petitions to be released of his or her duties. If the incapable adult still requires a guardian, the court will assign a successor guardian. The death of an incapacitated person will also end the guardianship relationship.

Avoidance of Guardianship

Through careful estate planning, it is possible to avoid situations where a guardianship is necessary. A thorough estate plan will include a medical power of attorney and will name a person to make your decisions for you if you become incapacitated. The documents in your estate plan can specify your wishes to ensure your desires are still carried out in the event you suffer a mental or physical disability.

Legal Counsel for All Adult Guardianship Needs

Smalley Law Firm in Norman, OK, has the reputable experience you will want to guide you through all adult guardianship circumstances to ensure a complete and legal guardianship is established. Contact our firm, so we may answer your questions and help navigate the complexities of this process.