Legal Guardianship in Arizona

By Andrine Redsteer

In Arizona, as in other states, an adult may obtain legal guardianship over a minor or an incapacitated adult with approval from a court. The person for whom a guardianship is established is known as the ward. Legal guardians have specific responsibilities including providing their wards with protection, support and care.

In Arizona, as in other states, an adult may obtain legal guardianship over a minor or an incapacitated adult with approval from a court. The person for whom a guardianship is established is known as the ward. Legal guardians have specific responsibilities including providing their wards with protection, support and care.

Understanding Guardianship

Arizona's statutes explain the duties and responsibilities of a guardian. A guardian is required to make decisions concerning everyday matters, handle living arrangements and provide shelter, food and clothing. In Arizona, as in other states, a guardian may make everyday decisions for a ward; however, managing the guardian's finances is generally not allowed, as conservators generally manage finances. An Arizona court may require a legal guardian to check in regularly and provide information concerning his performance.

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Where Guardianship is Granted

In Arizona, legal guardianship of a minor is granted by a probate court or a juvenile court. Probate courts are best known for admitting wills and overseeing probate proceedings; however, these courts appoint guardians as well. Arizona law requires individuals who want to obtain legal guardianship over a minor to give the minor child's parents and/or custodian 60-day notice prior to filing a petition for guardianship. Moreover, an individual who wishes to obtain legal guardianship over a minor child must prove to a court that guardianship is in the child's best interests. To petition for guardianship of an adult, a petitioner must file in probate court as well. He must notify the proposed ward's conservators, any current guardians and adult children.

When Guardianship is Granted

A probate court may grant guardianship if a minor child's parent left instructions in a last will and testament; this is called "testamentary appointment." Moreover, an individual may petition a court for legal guardianship if a court has terminated the parental rights of the proposed ward's parents. Legal guardianship may be granted when an incapacitated adult requires care and supervision. Generally, an adult is considered incapacitated if he is incapable of making his own medical decisions.

How Long Guardianship Lasts

Guardianship may last until a minor child reaches legal adulthood, which is 18 years old in Arizona. Generally, if a minor child's parents object to the guardianship and their parental rights have not been extinguished, they may petition the court for termination of the guardianship, even if they previously consented. Guardianship is also terminated upon the death of the ward.

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Legal Guardianship Procedures

References

Related articles

Legal Guardianship in Wisconsin

A guardian is a person or organization appointed by a court to exercise care, custody and control on behalf of a ward -- a minor or an incapacitated adult. Wisconsin recognizes two types of guardianship: guardianship of the person and guardianship of the estate. Wisconsin guardianship law is found in Chapter 48 of the Wisconsin Statutes.

When Does Legal Guardianship End?

A legal guardian is a person who is given authority over and legal responsibility for another person or her property by a court. A court may appoint a guardian for a minor or an adult who's incapacitated and can't make her own decisions or take care of herself. Reasons for a guardianship vary by situation. For example, an incompetent adult who can't manage her medical care needs a guardian for safety reasons. A legal guardian's authority ends as soon as the person for whom he's responsible, known as the ward, dies. But there are other reasons a guardianship may end, such as court-ordered termination and the guardian's own resignation.

Setting Up Guardianship in a Will

Probate courts appoint legal guardians to care for minor children if their parents die. A guardian ensures a child receives such things as housing, food, education and health care until he reaches the age of 18. Parents can nominate individuals to serve as guardians in their wills. Generally, judges follows parents' wishes by awarding guardianship to the parents' nominees. If a nominee is unable to serve, the court chooses another capable person to act. State laws regarding guardianship may vary.

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