- Establishing a Guardianship
- Representation of the Petitioner (person / entity seeking to establish the guardianship)
- Representation Alleged Incapacitated Person
- Representation of Persons Interested in Guardianship Action
- Fiduciary Representation
- Annual Reports to the Court
- Final Reports
- Petitions for Special Permission
Establishing a Guardianship
Guardianship is the legal process by which a Court appoints someone to act on behalf of an individual who is unable to manage his or her financial or personal affairs. The guardian appointed is often a family member, but it is sometimes necessary or prudent to appoint a professional guardian. A guardianship may be necessary for a child with disabilities who is about to reach the age of majority, or an adult who, as a result of aging, accident or disease, has become incapable of managing their affairs.
According to Washington statute, the guardianship should not be established unless there are no less restrictive alternatives available. Among the less restrictive alternatives that should be considered are: powers of attorney (for finances and/or healthcare); creating a trust for the benefit of and to protect the individual; and appointing a representative payee to receive and manage the individual's government benefits. In addition, a guardianship should be tailored to address the specific needs of the individual to be protected. Limited guardianships, those where only specific authorities are granted to the guardian, are possible and should be considered.
Our attorneys have represented individuals involved in guardianship proceedings in various roles on hundreds of occasions and can help you determine if a full or limited guardianship is the best option or if there are other less restrictive alternatives available. We can also help you seek appointment as guardian (or the appointment of someone else as guardian) or take the necessary steps to put an alternative in place. We can also assist individuals with an interest in a guardianship proceeding that has been initiated by someone else.
After a guardian has been appointed, they are obligated to make regular reports to the Court regarding the personal and/or financial status and well-being of the incapacitated person. In addition, the guardian must seek the permission of the Court before making a variety of decisions. Our attorneys regularly assist guardians, both lay guardians and professional fiduciaries, in preparing, filing and presenting these reports and requests for authority to the Court. We have long standing guardianship clients in King, Kitsap and Pierce counties.
Contact an experienced, local guardianship attorney for help.
Call us at 206-855-9293 today to schedule an initial consultation, or contact us online to learn more.