Legal Guardianship in Las Vegas: A Complete Guide

Legal guardianship is a legal relationship.

In it, a court appoints a person or group to care for another who cannot care for themselves. Guardians make decisions about health, living, money, and other matters.

They do so for minors or incapacitated adults.

Legal Guardianship in Las Vegas: A Complete Guide Banner

Why is Guardianship Needed?

There are several reasons guardianship may be necessary:

  • The minor’s parents have died or become incapacitated

  • The child has special needs their parents cannot adequately address

  • An accident or illness has left an adult incapacitated

  • An elderly parent develops dementia or Alzheimer’s disease

  • A disability prevents a person from being able to make decisions

Guardians step in when someone can’t care for themselves. They also can’t make sound decisions alone. They act as advocates working in the best interest of the protected person.

Guardianship checklist

Types of Guardianships

There are different types of guardianships, including:

  • Full guardianship – the guardian has authority over all aspects of the protected person’s life. This is the most restrictive option.

  • Limited guardianship – the guardian only has authority over certain areas of the protected person’s life where they need assistance. This allows for more independence when possible.

  • Temporary guardianship – granted on a short-term basis when a crisis arises. It may involve medical decisions.

  • Permanent guardianship is an ongoing, long-term appointment until the protected person passes away or the guardianship is terminated.

The court will decide the type and scope of guardianship. It will base this decision on the person’s situation and capacity.

Statue of Lady Justice with Nevada state flag, representing Nevada guardianship laws.
Nevada law aims to balance protecting vulnerable individuals while preserving their rights.

Guardianship Laws in Nevada

Nevada law allows for both minors and adults to have court-appointed guardians. Some critical aspects of Nevada guardianship law include:

  • The court must decide that a guardian is needed. The guardian will continue to care for and supervise the protected person.

  • Guardians must act in the best interest of the protected person. Decisions should maximize independence and self-reliance when possible.

  • Consider the preferences of the protected person. Do so if they can communicate.

  • Guardians must submit ongoing reports to the court on the status of the protected person.

  • Guardianships can be terminated if the protected person no longer needs the arrangement.

Nevada aims to protect vulnerable people. It also wants to preserve rights and prevent abuse.

Las Vegas courthouse building with the strip lit up at dusk.
Guardianship cases in Las Vegas are heard at the courthouse downtown.

Establishing Guardianship in Las Vegas

The process for establishing guardianship involves several steps:

Filing for Guardianship

To start, petitions and documents must be filed with the appropriate court in Las Vegas, such as:

  • Petition for Appointment of Guardian/Conservator

  • Citation to Appear and Show Case

  • Medical reports affirming the need

Filings require various fees. For example, filing the initial petition costs around $270.

The case is assigned to a judge who will hear the petition and decide whether to appoint a guardian. Hearings take place at family division courtrooms in downtown Las Vegas.

Guardianship Hearing

During the hearing, petitioners must:

  • Provide evidence for why guardianship is needed

  • Demonstrate they are qualified to serve as guardian

  • Propose specific powers to be granted

Others can object to the guardianship or proposed guardian. The proposed protected person has a right to attend and speak. Witnesses may testify regarding capacity.

If approved, the judge signs an order. It appoints a guardian and outlines their powers. Letters of guardianship are issued, allowing the guardian to act.

Being Appointed Guardian

If the court approves the guardianship petition, the proposed guardian must take steps before officially being appointed. They must do things such as:

  • Undergo background checks – Guardians cannot have recent felonies or bankruptcies.

  • Complete guardian education – Nevada mandates new guardians take approved training on duties.

  • Be bonded if managing finances – Bonding protects assets in case of mismanagement.

  • File inventory of assets – Must list all property and financial accounts of protected persons.

  • Obtain guardianship letters – Official document proving court appointment.

Once qualified, the guardian is responsible for:

  • Making decisions in the best interest of the protected person

  • Ensuring safety, health, hygiene, and comfort

  • Managing finances and property carefully

  • Filing ongoing reports with the court

Guardians must follow the court’s orders. They must act in the protected person’s best interest.

Fork in road sign showing alternatives path instead of guardianship.
Less restrictive options like powers of attorney should be explored before pursuing full guardianship.

Alternatives to Guardianship

Before pursuing full guardianship, less restrictive alternatives may be considered, such as:

  • Power of attorney – Appoint an agent to handle finances

  • Healthcare proxy – Name someone to make medical decisions

  • Living will – Document end-of-life healthcare wishes

  • Trusts – Designate a trustee to manage assets and property

  • Representative payee – Manage Social Security/benefits

These options allow more independence and control for the individual. Guardianship is most appropriate when a person has minimal capacity.

Judge's gavel beside guardianship termination documents.
Guardianships can be terminated by court order if certain conditions are met.

Guardianship Termination

Guardianships do not have to last forever. They can be terminated when:

  • The protected person passes away.

  • The protected person regains the capacity to care for themselves.

  • The guardian can no longer serve, and no replacement is available.

  • The guardian fails to fulfill their duties properly.

  • The guardianship is no longer needed or in the protected person’s interests.

A petition must be filed to terminate a guardianship in Nevada with evidence for why it should end. The court will evaluate and decide.

If a termination petition is approved, the guardian must file final accountings and give the protected person’s remaining assets to the court. Then, the court discharges the guardian.

Person meeting with a lawyer.
Seeking professional legal advice can make navigating guardianship much easier.

Getting Help

Navigating guardianship can be complex. Resources for assistance include:

  • Consulting a guardianship attorney – They can advise on the process. The protected person is entitled to a lawyer.

  • Guardianship services organizations – Non-profits can sometimes serve as or help locate guardians.

  • Court self-help center – Provides forms and guidance on filing petitions.

A professional can guide you through guardianship. This can make it much easier and help ensure protections.

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.

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Breaking It All Down for You

Establishing legal guardianship in Las Vegas can be complex. But, a minor or incapacitated adult needs protection. Working with skilled legal pros and following Nevada law helps.

It ensures the rights of all parties are upheld. This happens during the guardianship proceedings and an appointment.

Guardians take on big responsibilities. They care for and make decisions for the protected person. Before pursuing full guardianship, individuals should explore alternative arrangements like powers of attorney.

Ongoing court oversight provides an essential check on guardianship arrangements.

Proper procedures make legal guardianship possible. It lets vulnerable people get needed support while keeping as much autonomy as they can. Las Vegas residents who need help with this process.

The letters "FAQ" in large bold text to represent the start of a Frequently Asked Questions section.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the responsibilities of a guardian?

Guardians make decisions about an incapacitated person’s health, living, money, and other matters. This includes providing for their needs and always acting in their best interest.

Who pays the legal fees associated with establishing a guardianship?

The fees come from the incapacitated person’s assets and finances. They cover filing petitions and hiring lawyers. If they lack adequate resources, the court may waive some costs.

How does someone remove a bad guardian?

If a guardian fails in their duties or acts against the best interests of the incapacitated person, interested parties can file petitions. They do this to have the guardian removed and replaced with a more suitable person.

What powers can a limited guardianship give a guardian?

Limited guardianships restrict the guardian’s authority to specific areas, like health care or finances. This allows the incapacitated person to retain independence in areas where they still have capacity.

Can other family members take part in decision-making if there is a guardian?

While the family can provide input, the court-appointed guardian has the final say in the areas granted by the judge. The guardian must consider information from family and friends who know the individual well.

Are there public guardian programs available?

Some Nevada counties have public guardianship programs that step in when no other suitable guardian is available for a protected person. These are usually offices or nonprofit agencies.

How long does a guardianship last?

Guardianships last as long as the incapacitated person cannot care for themselves. If the individual regains adequate capacity or ability, they can terminate them. Otherwise, guardianships often last for the rest of the person’s life.

Does a guardian have to check in with the court?

Yes, guardians in Nevada must file reports covering the well-being and finances of the protected person. This allows the court to monitor guardianships.

"Glossary" in large, bold text, marking the beginning of a section defining key terms.


Guardianship – A legal relationship where a court appoints someone to care for another person who cannot care for themselves. The guardian manages matters like health, living arrangements, and finances on behalf of the incapacitated person.

Guardian – The person or organization appointed by the court to act as guardian and make decisions in the best interest of an incapacitated person.

Incapacitated Person – An adult who has been declared by the court to be unable to make responsible decisions for themselves due to mental or physical impairments and is also known as a protected person in guardian proceedings.

Protected Person – The incapacitated adult or minor with a guardian appointed by the court to make decisions on their behalf. Also referred to as the ward.

Minor – A child under the age of adulthood, which is 18 in Nevada. Minors may have guardians appointed if their parents cannot care for them.

Petition – The legal document submitted to the court requesting that guardianship be established and asking the judge to appoint a specific person as guardian.

Conservatorship – Similar to guardianship, it explicitly covers financial and property matters when adults cannot manage their affairs.

Power of Attorney – A legal document authorizing someone to handle finances or make medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated. An alternative to guardianship.

Ward – The incapacitated person who has a court-appointed guardian. They are also referred to as the protected person.

Letters of Guardianship – The official court document stating the appointment and powers of a guardian. You are required to prove legal authority to act.

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Additional Resources for You

Molly Rosenblum Allen, Esq., our esteemed lead attorney, has been instrumental in providing valuable resources for those seeking guidance in guardianship matters. To aid you in navigating these complex legal waters, she has created a series of informative resources:

  1. Las Vegas Guardianship Attorney: A comprehensive guide for those seeking guardianship-related legal assistance in Las Vegas.

  2. Guardianship Forms: Access to essential guardianship forms, simplifying the legal process and paperwork.

  3. Guardianship of a Child in Las Vegas: Specialized information for those seeking to become guardians of children in Las Vegas, covering legal procedures and responsibilities.

  4. Adult Guardianship: Guidance on the process and responsibilities involved in obtaining guardianship over an adult.

  5. Types of Guardianship: An overview of the different types of guardianship, helping you identify the most suitable option for your situation.

  6. Pros and Cons of Guardianship: A balanced view of the advantages and challenges of guardianship, aiding in informed decision-making.

  7. Dependency Cases: Expert insights into dependency cases, including the legal process and how to navigate these sensitive situations.

  8. Terminate Legal Guardianship: Information on the process and legal requirements for terminating a guardianship arrangement.

  9. Parental Responsibility for Disabled Adults in Nevada: Guidance on the specific responsibilities and legal aspects of caring for disabled adults in Nevada.

  10. Nevada Power of Attorney: Detailed information on the power of attorney in Nevada, a crucial element in managing affairs for those unable to do so themselves.

We hope these resources, meticulously developed by Molly Rosenblum Allen, Esq., provide valuable assistance and clarity for those dealing with guardianship issues.

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Outside Resources for You

Here are several offsite resources related to family law and legal guardianship that you might find useful:

  1. American Bar Association (ABA): A premier resource for legal professionals that also offers public information on various legal topics, including family law and guardianship.

  2. FindLaw: Offers a wealth of information on family law, including articles and resources on guardianship, custody, and other related topics.

  3. National Center for State Courts (NCSC): Provides resources and information on court systems, which can be helpful in understanding guardianship and family law procedures.

  4. Avvo: Features legal advice, articles, and an extensive directory of lawyers specializing in different areas, including family law and guardianship.

  5. Justia: Offers free case law, codes, regulations, and legal information for lawyers, business, students, and consumers.

  6. Nolo: Well-known for do-it-yourself legal guides, Nolo provides extensive resources and articles on family law and legal guardianship.

  7. Child Welfare Information Gateway: Provides information and resources related to child welfare, including guardianship and custody issues.

Each of these resources offers a wealth of information that can be helpful in navigating the complexities of family law and guardianship.

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A Special Message from Our Lead Attorney, Molly Rosenblum, Esq

Headshot of attorney Molly Rosenblum Allen with long blond hair, wearing a black blazer.

Dear Reader,

Thank you for taking the time to engage with our resources. We hope you found them informative. They should help you understand family law and guardianship in Las Vegas.

Please reach out if you’re ready to take the next step. Or if you have any specific questions about your situation. At The Rosenblum Allen Law Firm, my team and I are dedicated. We are dedicated to providing the support and legal expertise you need.

You can call us at (702) 433-2889 to discuss your case and get the ball rolling on finding a solution that works for you. Every situation is unique. We’re here to guide you with care and professionalism.

Looking forward to the opportunity to assist you,

Molly Rosenblum, Esq.

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