Guardianship Arizona: Becoming a Legal Guardian
Affordable Solution to Arizona Guardianship
Arizona Guardianship and Conservatorship Basics
As an Arizona Certified Legal Document Preparer, Senior Planning assists with the preparation and filing for guardianship and conservatorship for a family member or loved one. For adults who are not competent to make decisions on their own, guardianship allows another person to take over and make decisions on their behalf regarding health and welfare. Similarly, a legal guardian can be appointed for minors in cases where they do not currently have an adult guardian or a parent wants someone else to take over. Conservatorship is similar, but covers the protected person’s financial affairs.
A lot of people mistakenly believe there is an application that must be completed to obtain guardianship. Unfortunately, this is not how the process works. To become a legal guardian in Arizona, you must file a petition with the court and attend a hearing. At the hearing, you must provide documentation to the court about the case. Only a judge can make someone a legal guardian. It must be shown that it is in the best interest of all parties involved.
If you need assistance with guardianship, conservatorship, or both, Senior Planning is a very affordable option. We assist with document preparation for both adults and minors.
Emergency Guardianship and Conservatorship in Arizona
Often, people filing for guardianship and conservatorship need to get these powers right away, due to an emergency situation. Depending on the situation, a judge may grant what is called an emergency guardianship or conservatorship. Emergency guardianship is temporary. But in matters of life and death, or great financial ruin, an emergency guardianship allows someone to make necessary medical and financial decisions in a quicker manner than if they had petitioned for a permanent guardianship. If an emergency guardianship is granted but it must stay in place for the long term, a permanent filing will have to be done separately.
We assist with preparation for emergency guardianship, emergency conservatorship, or both. If you believe your case is an emergency, give us a call today to get started as quickly as possible.
Responsibilities of a Legal Guardian in Arizona
A ward is a person placed under the protection of a legal guardian. Responsibilities will vary depending on whether or not the ward is a minor. For those who are granted legal guardianship over a minor, they will be responsible for:
• Deciding where the minor lives
• Deciding where the ward goes to school
• Organizing and obtaining medical care, including dental needs
• Taking care of any mental health needs, which may involve counseling or psychiatry
• Regardless of the ward’s age, a guardian must always advocate for their ward’s best interests
For those who are granted legal guardianship over an adult, they will be responsible for:
• Making sure the person has all necessary medical and long-term care. However, the guardian is not financially responsible to provide direct care to the ward.
• Deciding where the person lives, especially if a long-term care community is in the ward’s best interest
• Acting as the point of contact for healthcare and social services
• Trying to honor their ward’s preferences whenever it is possible
• Deciding which interventions and treatements are appropriate in the case of terminal illnesses if those treatments are painful and will only prolong dying
There are more responsibilities and duties than what is listed above, as well as limitations. If you are interested in learning more about guardianship please request more information below.
What Is A Document Preparer?
Arizona allows certified document preparers, like Senior Planning, to assist with the preparation of legal documents. Unlike an attorney, we cannot give legal advice. However, we can convey available options to you and are generally significantly more affordable than an attorney; it’s no secret attorneys charge a lot. However, many filings are fairly straight forward and do not require an attorney’s help. Each situation is unique, but we will let you know right away if we cannot assist. If we can’t help, we refer you to a local Arizona guardianship attorney who can.
Frequently Asked Questions About Arizona Guardianship
When is a Guardianship Necessary in Arizona?
If someone does not have a power of attorney and is not mentally competent to sign one, a guardianship may be necessary if you are hoping to apply for benefits or manage their affairs. Another situation where it might be necessary is if a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and their doctor has recommended a guardianship for safety. As a document preparer, Senior Planning cannot tell you if this process is right for you, but we can give you information to aid your decision making.
How Long Does a Guardianship take?
Emergency hearings happen very quickly once the filing is made. Depending on the circumstances, they can be held anywhere from the same day to one week from filing. Permanent petitions take longer to resolve, depending on the circumstances of your particular situation and where you are filing. The length of time depends primarily on the court’s caseload at the time of filing. Once hired, we will get the paperwork to you in a timely manner to allow you to file as soon as possible.
Do I need a professional to help me file?
Guardianship and Conservatorship are very serious legal matters that involve preparation, process service, and appearing before a judge. At Senior Planning, our goal is to provide the services you need at affordable rates to make your filing go as smoothly as it possibly can. For extremely complex cases, we may also be able to refer an attorney in matters where you decide you need legal advice. Unless you are very familiar with probate court, it may be beneficial to hire a professional.
Will Someone from Senior Planning go to court?
Senior Planning cannot speak on your behalf as would an attorney, but one of our agents can accompany you to assist you with your court filing for an additional, reasonable fee. Having someone with you at court is not always necessary, but as each situation is unique, it varies on a case by case basis. Generally, if you can show that a guardian is necessary, you will not have any issues. We prepare each filing exclusively for the case at hand to achieve the best outcome possible.