When you think of guardianship, the first thing that comes to mind might be children. Adults can be elected the legal guardians of minor-aged children if their parents pass away, meaning they will be held legally responsible to take care of them at all times. Parents can elect those guardians in their Estate Plan, or they will be chosen by a state court in the event of an emergency. However, guardianship is about more than just children – it covers adults too.
You may have a loved one who you are concerned is unable to take care of themself. In the eyes of the law, they are an “incapacitated person” – someone over the age of eighteen who is impaired because of an illness or disability, whether chronic or temporary. If an incapacitated person is unable to care for themselves, they can have a guardian elected.
A guardian would have the legal authority to make medical, financial, and legal decisions for their loved one who was unable to make them on their own. Someone cannot legally take on the role of a guardian on their own – it must be approved by a court. In Oklahoma, there are three main types of Adult Guardianship:
- General Guardianship: Where the guardian has complete control over their loved one and all of their belongings for the rest of their life.
- Limited Guardianship: Where the guardian has some control over their loved one, but only regarding certain aspects, for the rest of their life.
- Special Guardianship: Where the guardian has complete control over their loved one and all of their belongings, but only for a short amount of time. This is normally to deal with a brief medical condition, and generally lasts about a month.
Most Adult Guardianship cases will be interested in the General Guardianship. In order to be granted the guardian status, you need to work with an attorney to petition the court. In your petition, you will explain the situation and your ability to care for your loved one. The court will then investigate the background of the situation, and eventually make a decision. At Pence Law Firm, P.C., we have been through this process many times.
At Pence Law Firm, P.C., we are dedicated to bringing your entire family peace. Our history working in family law means that we take your entire family’s dynamic into account. We know how sensitive of an issue Adult Guardianship is, and we will work to keep your family happy through it. For more information, you can listen to our Aging Life podcast here. To get your own Adult Guardianship issue resolved, contact Pence Law Firm, P.C. today! We offer customized, professional, and powerful representation.