Adult vs. Child Guardianship

When you think about legal guardianships, you likely imagine a child whose parents passed away in an accident or even a devastating house fire.

A grandparent, close family friend, or neighbor steps up and fills their biological parents’ shoes.

Of course, everyone lives happily ever after!

However, children aren’t the only ones needing guardianships.

And, if you think anyone can be a guardian with a signed form and a heartfelt court appearance, you might be watching too many movies.

Learn more about adult and child guardianships in Nevada below.

What Is a Guardianship?

If you’ve ever filled out a form at a doctor’s office or for an upcoming school trip, you probably signed a line labeled “Parent or Guardian” signature.

That circles back to legal guardianships!

A guardian is a court-appointed person who takes on a caretaker role for somebody who cannot do it themselves, whether that’s due to age (under 18), disability, or incompetency.

If a Nevada family court judge approves your petition for guardianship, you must:

  • Provide shelter, clothes, food, and daily necessities
  • Give them access to medical care (dental, psychiatric, surgical, and otherwise)
  • Guarantee they have access to education, a trade program, or career
  • Take care of their assets and estate (if applicable)
  • Make decisions in their best interest (medical, financial, etc.)

Guardians also have to follow strict rules.

For example, you can’t sell the protected person’s belongings, use their monthly budget for your personal gain, end the guardianship, or move them out of state without court approval.

You can learn more about what you can and can’t do as a guardian here.

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What Are the Requirements to Be a Guardian?

Elegible Guardian
Elegible Guardianship Adult

Whether you’re the guardian for an elderly parent, a mentally disabled sibling, or a parentless child, Nevada does have restrictions on who can fill that guardian role.

In Nevada, a guardian must be 18 years of age or older.

However, you may not be eligible for guardianship if you:

  • Are incompetent yourself
  • Filed for bankruptcy in the last seven years
  • Are a convicted felon (though the court may still rule in your favor)
  • Lost your right to practice law or accounting
  • Have domestic violence, exploitation, abuse, or abandonment on your record

Yet, applying for a guardianship isn’t enough to guarantee a judge will appoint you to that role.

In the case of an orphaned parent, multiple loved ones may petition the courts.

If that happens, the court might assign co-guardians (if they’re willing to share). Or the Court may choose one potential guardian over the other based on CPS recommendations, the relationship to the child at issue, and the child’s guardianship preferences.

A court-appointed guardian from the Office of the Public Guardian will take on the guardian role if nobody offers or if there’s an emergency (ex: the protected person or their estate are in danger).

Why Do Children Need Guardianships?

Children will need a guardian if their biological parents are no longer able to care for them and meet their basic survival needs.

A child may need a legal guardian if their parents cannot care for the child physically, mentally, or financially.

That could mean a severe physical disability, an unstable or unsafe home life, parental abuse, or both parents being absent or deceased.

Legal children guardianship

Why Would Adults Need a Guardianship?

Healthy adults rarely need guardianships, but you might need a legal guardian one day if you become incapacitated or mentally incompetent.

You’ll see adult guardianship cases in the elderly, particularly in those with psychosis, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia.

If an adult can still make some decisions for themselves, Nevada also has a “special guardianship” where you’ll split decision-making between yourself and the protected person.

Adult Guardianship
Guardianship of an adult

When Does a Guardianship End?

All guardianships will come to an end, though exactly how is a matter of time.

A guardianship over a child ends the day they turn 18 unless they have yet to graduate from high school; in that case, you and the child must agree to extend it to age 19 (file two weeks before 18).

If you’re a guardian for an adult, the guardianship will end in one of two ways: two physicians can prove that the protected person is now competent, or the Protected Person passes away.

However, anyone can petition to terminate or dissolve a guardianship at any time.

A judge may end a guardianship if the child’s parents step forward with proof that they can care for a child physically and mentally or if either party permanently relocates over state lines.

What Are the Different Types of Guardianships?

In Nevada there are four types of guardianships:

1) Guardianship of the person:

The guardian takes on the role of general caregiver, making medical, shelter, and schooling decisions on the protected person’s behalf.

2) Guardianship of the estate:

The guardian makes financial decisions (this is not absolute control of their finances, and Nevada requires court approval to make some choices).

3) Both:

One person can control both, or each can have a different guardian.

A parent can sign over temporary guardianship of their children for six months without going through the traditional court process (form here).

You can also bypass guardianships entirely with a living will, power of attorney, or adoption.

How Do You Petition for a Guardianship?

The process for petitioning for guardianship depends on whether you’re pursuing an adult or a child guardianship.

Generally, Nevada law requires a would-be guardian to file paperwork with the court, submit the order to a judge, argue your case in front of a judge, and prove you’re a good fit.

The court proceedings may involve expert testimony to ensure that the protected person needs a guardian and that the aspiring guardian can fill those shoes.

You can learn more about petitioning for a child or adult guardianship (and the forms you have to complete) here.

Do You Need a Lawyer to Petition for Guardianship?

Need? No.

However, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of a family law attorney who can help you find the best guardian for yourself or a loved one.

At the Rosenblum Allen Law Firm, our team is here to help.

We’ll assign an attorney to your case, discuss guardianship options, and walk you through the mounds of legal paperwork.

Give our office a call at (702) 433-2889 or complete our online form to request more information.

Why You Haven’t Hired a Guardianship Attorney Yet

Watch this short video to take the next big step toward defending your rights in a guardianship case.

Further Reading

Our esteemed lead attorney, Molly Rosenblum Allen, Esq, not only excels in her legal practice but also dedicates herself to creating valuable resources for those seeking guidance in guardianship matters. If you’re navigating these complex areas, we encourage you to explore the following comprehensive resources crafted by her:

  1. Las Vegas Guardianship Attorney: A specialized guide for those seeking expert legal assistance in guardianship cases within Las Vegas.

  2. Legal Guardianship: Understand the intricacies of legal guardianship, including the responsibilities and legal processes involved.

  3. Guardianship Forms: Access crucial forms and understand their roles in the guardianship process, ensuring you’re well-prepared and informed.

  4. Guardianship of a Child in Las Vegas: Navigate the specific regulations and considerations for establishing child guardianship in Las Vegas.

  5. Types of Guardianship: Explore the different types of guardianship and the unique characteristics of each, helping you find the best fit for your situation.

  6. Pros and Cons of Guardianship: Delve into the advantages and potential drawbacks of guardianship to make informed decisions.

  7. Dependency Cases: Gain insights into dependency cases, understanding the legal implications and processes involved.

  8. Terminate Legal Guardianship: Learn about the conditions and procedures for terminating a legal guardianship, a critical aspect for many guardians.

  9. Parental Responsibility for Disabled Adults in Nevada: Specialized guidance for parents navigating the responsibilities and legal considerations for disabled adults in Nevada.

  10. Nevada Power of Attorney: Understand the powers and limitations of a power of attorney in Nevada, a crucial tool in legal and health care planning.

Molly Rosenblum Allen, Esq’s commitment to providing comprehensive and accessible legal resources is evident in these meticulously prepared guides. Whether you’re seeking clarity on guardianship issues or looking for specific legal forms, these resources are designed to assist you in your time of need.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a legal guardianship, and who needs one?

A legal guardianship involves a court-appointed caretaker for someone unable to care for themselves, whether due to age, disability, or incompetency. It’s necessary for individuals who cannot manage their own affairs, ensuring they receive proper care, protection, and decision-making support.

What are the requirements to become a guardian in Nevada?

To become a guardian in Nevada, you must be at least 18 years old and meet certain eligibility criteria. However, eligibility alone does not guarantee guardianship. The court assesses each case individually, considering factors such as competency, criminal history, and the best interests of the individual in need of guardianship.

Why do children and adults need guardianships?

Children may need guardianships if their parents are unable to provide adequate care and support due to various reasons, such as illness, incapacity, or absence. Similarly, adults may require guardianships if they are unable to make decisions for themselves due to mental incapacity or disability.

How does a guardianship end?

Guardianships end through various means, such as the individual reaching adulthood (18 years old), regaining competency, or passing away. Additionally, guardianships can be terminated or dissolved by petitioning the court under certain circumstances, such as when the guardian is no longer able to fulfill their duties effectively.

What are the different types of guardianships in Nevada?

Nevada recognizes several types of guardianships, including guardianship of the person, guardianship of the estate, or a combination of both. Temporary guardianships are also available for short-term care arrangements. Each type serves specific purposes based on the individual’s needs and circumstances.

How do you petition for a guardianship in Nevada?

Petitioning for a guardianship involves filing paperwork with the court, presenting evidence of the individual’s incapacity or need for guardianship, and demonstrating your suitability as a guardian. The court reviews the petition and may require additional documentation or hearings to make a decision.

Do you need a lawyer to petition for guardianship?

While it’s not mandatory to have a lawyer, seeking legal advice and representation can be beneficial, especially given the complexities of guardianship proceedings. A knowledgeable attorney can provide guidance, ensure all legal requirements are met, and advocate for your interests in court.

Where can I find additional resources on guardianship?

Numerous online resources, legal directories, and organizations offer information and support for individuals navigating guardianship matters. Websites like FindLaw, Justia, and the American Bar Association provide valuable insights and resources on adult and child guardianship. Additionally, legal matching services like Avvo and LegalMatch can help connect you with experienced attorneys specializing in family law and guardianship cases.

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Offsite Resources You May Find Helpful

Here are seven offsite resources that provide information about adult and child guardianship:

  1. FindLaw: This online resource provides free legal information, a lawyer directory, and other resources on a wide range of legal topics, including adult and child guardianship.

  2. Justia: Justia offers free legal information and a directory of attorneys for various legal issues, including adult and child guardianship.

  3. American Bar Association: The ABA provides a variety of resources on legal topics, including information on adult and child guardianship.

  4. Nolo: Nolo provides legal information to consumers and small businesses, including articles, blogs, FAQs, and news on adult and child guardianship.

  5. Avvo: This website provides a directory of lawyers, legal advice, and other resources on a broad range of legal topics, including adult and child guardianship.

  6. LegalMatch: This online legal matching service helps individuals find lawyers in their area and provides advice and resources on family law matters, including adult and child guardianship.

  7. The National Guardianship Association: This organization provides educational, training, and networking opportunities for guardians and about guardianship. It’s a great resource for understanding both adult and child guardianship.

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What's Next?

Do you need a guardian attorney in Las Vegas?

Look no further!

The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm offers the best services around.

Our team is dedicated to protecting your rights, providing legal advice, and standing as your advocate throughout any case.

When you choose us for your guardian attorney needs, you can trust that we’ll get the job done professionally- every time.

With years of experience helping clients just like you protect their assets and interests, there’s no better choice than The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm when it comes to finding quality representation in Nevada.

Get started now by giving us a call at (702) 433-2889–we look forward to hearing from you soon!

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