Guardianship Basics
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Guardianship Basics

A guardian is an individual that is appointed — through a court or by being appointed in a legal document—for making decisions for another person (commonly called the “ward”) that can’t make decisions for themselves. The kinds of decisions that a guardian could make comprise of:

  • Giving permission to medical care and/or treatments;
  • Buying or arranging for the buying of necessities like food, clothing, vehicles, household items, and other personal belongings;
  • The arrangement of education; and
  • Managing financials and financial institution accounts.

Below is a summary of guardianship fundamentals, like when guardians can be appointed, how guardians are appointed, etc.

Guardianship Fundamentals: When Guardians are Appointed

A guardianship requires that an individual to act on behalf of and safeguard their ward throughout the period when the ward is unable of acting for themselves. For instance, the court might appoint a guardian when a possible ward is debilitated and is unable make decisions for themselves due to a mental or physical debilitation, ailment, or addiction to alcohol and/or other drugs. Accepting guardianship of a debilitated ward is an important responsibility, so it’s vital to know what powers you might hold being a guardian.

Guardians can also be appointed for children additionally. When a minor has no adult or other relative to make specific decisions on their behalf until they reach legal age, a court can be petitioned to appoint a guardian for that minor.

Guardianship Fundamentals: Choosing of a Guardian

The choosing of a guardian is a significantly important task. Individuals associated to the ward are preferred as potential guardians by courts. These comprise of:

  • An individual appointed by the ward — by legal documentation or otherwise — to manage their affairs, prior to the period of incapacity occurring
  • A spouse
  • Parent(s) or other family members
  • An employee of the state or private individual familiar with the ward and the debilitation at issue
  • Who is chosen by the court must be willing and capable to carry out the duties at hand, and to represent the ward’s best interest. In choosing the guardian, the court examines the potential guardian’s integrity, history, physical ability, and other relevant characteristics. A potential guardian’s minimal education or finances are not invalidating conditions by themselves.

The guardianship laws in each state specify the particular duties, obligations, and authority of the guardian. These laws need to be examined in order to establish the standards that apply to each circumstance.

Guardianship Fundamentals: Guardian Removal

A guardian might be removed when a court establishes that the ward is no longer in need of the services of the guardian. A guardian can also be removed when they have not provided sufficient care for the ward or if it is discovered that the guardian is guilty of carelessness. Carelessness can include the use of the ward’s money or property for their own benefit and not following court orders. Through a court order, the guardian is going to be removed and a newer guardian (or temporary guardian) will be alternated in place of the initial guardian.

When you wish to become a guardian, you are going to need to assemble particular documents before speaking with an attorney or filing a petition with a local court.

Questions Concerning Guardianship? Get a Hold of an Attorney

If it’s for a child or an adult, the choosing of a guardian is a significant decision not to be brushed aside. Ultimately, a guardian is going to be managing most decisions, from financials to medical care decisions. Following getting up to speed on guardianship fundamentals, you may want to get a hold of a qualified family law attorney to guarantee that you’re fully informed before progressing.


  1. Guardianship basics. Findlaw. (2018, November 17). Retrieved June 3, 2022, from

Arizona Family Law

Naming guardians in your will can be part of your estate plan. You may think you’re too young or don’t have enough money to justify the expense, but if you have children, you have priceless assets. There are many considerations when naming guardians for your kids. However, the process doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated.

There’s nothing better than the peace of mind you will have knowing you’ve protected your family at a time when they need it most. Let us help. Schedule a consultation or contact Ogborne Law, PLC of Arizona today.

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