What Is Guardianship, And When Is It Used?

When Guardianship is implemented, the Court has deemed an individual unable to care for themselves or make their own decisions. Therefore, another person is appointed to make decisions on their behalf. These individuals are called “protected persons” in the eyes of the law. 

Guardianship for children is considered if a child’s parents cannot care for their children or are not present in a child’s life. The Court may select a guardian to care for the child, until they are legal adults at eighteen, under any of the below circumstances:

  • The parents agree to Guardianship of their child.
  • The parents are no longer considered suitable Guardians, and their parental rights are terminated.
  • A court has decided that the child should be moved to a Guardian’s care.

As our experienced East Greenwich, RI guardianship attorney explains, courts often advise Guardianship for adults when an individual is incapable of making decisions and an individual needs to be assigned to make judgments in the protected person’s best interest. But what makes an individual unable to care for themselves? Examples of those in need of Guardianship may include:

  • Severe disability or hospitalization that a certified individual has determined that the protected person is not able to make financial or medical decisions for themselves. In this case, they would need someone to be appointed to make these decisions for them to protect them from making harmful choices.
  • An adult shows behaviors that indicate that they could harm themself or others.
  • There are no suitable alternatives to Guardianship, such as general financial power of attorney or health care power of attorney.

Guardianship will remain instated until the protected person passes away or they can care for themselves and make their own decisions. A court will establish a Guardianship. Therefore, a petition will need to be filed to gain Guardianship over a child or an adult. If you are interested in learning more about Guardianship, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at McCarthy Law, LLC.

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