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Adult Guardianship

Phoenix Lawyer for Adult Guardianship

Adult guardianships may be set up when an adult is disabled and can’t take certain steps for him or herself. This appointment can be more challenging and involving than appointment of a guardian for a minor child. Guardianship over an adult may be limited or general. The circumstances will determine the extent to which a guardian has power over a ward. If you are concerned about arranging a guardian for an incapacitated family member or you’ve been served with guardianship paperwork you believe is unfair, you should discuss your situation with experienced Phoenix adult guardianship lawyer Angela Duhon.

Adult Guardianship

Guardians are appointed by judges to make decisions for a person who can’t make certain decisions for himself due to illness or disability. The disability may be mental or physical. Guardians can also be appointed for an adult alcoholic or an adult who abuses drugs. An incapacitated adult who is appointed a guardian is known as a ward. The guardian can make decisions for the ward with regard to shelter, medical care, garments, social activities and education.

A petitioner can ask the court for a limited or general guardianship. Limited guardianships allow guardians to manage certain affairs for a ward, while leaving others up to him or her. For example, a limited guardianship would be appropriate if someone is able to make certain health care decisions but can no longer manage his or her own finances. General guardianships permit guardians to manage all of the ward’s business and personal affairs.

Once our Phoenix lawyer files a petition for adult guardianship or responsive paperwork, the court will hold a hearing. The purpose of the hear is to determine whether the adult is incapacitated and requires a guardian. The adult for whom a guardianship is sought needs to be personally served at least 14 days prior to the hearing. Notice also needs to be provided to a putative ward’s spouse, parents, adult child, or anyone serving as conservator or who has care and custody of the adult. At the hearing, the person for whom a guardianship is sought has various due process rights, including the right to present evidence, ask for a jury trial, cross-examine witnesses and be represented by an attorney.

Who Will Be Appointed Guardian for a Phoenix Adult?

Anybody competent can be appointed guardian when the guardianship is for an adult who is incapacitated or disabled. An adult’s friends or family may request legal authority from the court to serve as guardian. In some cases, a private fiduciary is appointed because friends and family members aren’t willing to take responsibility for the incapacitated adult. There are also situations in which a guardian is appointed in a will or by the court.

There are different levels of priority for appointment of guardians. The highest priority person to serve as guardian for an adult is a person who already has guardianship over the adult in another county or state. Next in priority is an adult nominated by a ward with the capacity to make an intelligent choice. The lowest priority of the varying levels of priority is somebody who was nominated in a will or a relative with whom a ward has lived with for more than six months. Our Phoenix lawyer serving those concerned with adult guardianships will examine your case closely to figure out the best way to present your case to the court. However, as with child custody the court will look at the best interests of the ward when making a decision.

Any interested person who files for appointment of a guardian can nominate the person to serve in this role. However, a proposed guardian must provide background information to the court before prior to appointment. Background information could include past times when the person served as a guardian and any criminal record. To appoint a guardian, the court will try to figure out the guardian’s qualifications. However, the guardian’s authorities will be restricted based on a ward’s needs.


Generally, the guardian of an adult must submit a written report to the court every year on the anniversary of his or her appointment. The report should include information regarding health or living conditions of a ward as well as a report from the ward’s physician that is up to date.

When an adult has executed other appropriate paperwork, such as a Health Care Power of Attorney, a guardianship may be unnecessary. However, in some cases, guardianship proceedings still move forward.


Guardians, wards and other interested parties can request that the guardianship be terminated at any point. A hearing will be held in court. When it is proper, a guardian can be discharged. When a ward passes away, the guardian is required to notify the court and ask it to be discharged from liability in future matters.

Retain a Phoenix Adult Guardianship Attorney

Adult guardianships can be a fraught issue for families. There may be disputes between family members about who should serve as guardian. Some family members may prefer an incapacitated adult to be in a facility or nursing home. If you are concerned about guardianship paperwork with which you’ve been served or you need to petition the court for guardianship of an incapacitated loved one, you should retain a compassionate Phoenix adult guardianship attorney. Call Ms. Duhon at (602) 699-4949 or via our online form.

Client Reviews

From the beginning to the end of my divorce case Angela was there she's a very personal person and takes time and devoted a lot of energy for the case, I couldn't have been more happier with the outcome of a bad situation thank you Angela for what you did for me.

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Angela has worked tirelessly to assist in my family matter. When I work with her, I know that my children are her first priority.

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Angela is amazing! I can’t imagine what my custody battle would have been like without her on my side. She knew just want to do and say, the guidance she gave was invaluable. I hope I never need her services again, but if I do, I have her number on speed dial!!

- Justin

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