Who May Require a Guardianship?

If you and your family need to establish a guardianship for an elderly or disabled adult family member, ask a Las Vegas guardianship attorney to explain guardianships in Nevada and to advise you and your family on how to go about setting up a guardianship.

The elderly are not the only adults who may require guardianship. Any adult who can’t make or articulate his or her own decisions or handle everyday personal, health, and financial matters may need to have a guardian designated by a Nevada court.

Younger and middle-aged adults who have developmental disabilities and adults who have suffered severe brain injuries may require a guardian to manage their financial affairs and/or make their medical decisions.

What is Required of a Guardian?

Guardians have considerable authority to make decisions for incapacitated adults, so Nevada has established demanding standards for guardianship. A prospective guardian must prove his or her fitness and ability to serve as a guardian and must pass a comprehensive background check.

Guardians should be compassionate and patient people. If a guardian candidate has previous experience as a caregiver, that helps. An adult guardian in Nevada is responsible for addressing the needs of the individual being protected (who is legally referred to as a “protected person”), including:

  1.  deciding where the protected person will reside
  2.  making the protected person’s medical decisions and overseeing the protected person’s medical care
  3.  handling the protected person’s estate plan and day-to-day finances
  4.  allowing visits (and limiting visits by anyone who may exploit a protected person)

How is an Adult Guardianship Terminated?

Adult guardianship is not necessarily permanent in Nevada. Anyone – including a relative, a guardian, or a protected person – may petition a Nevada court to terminate an adult guardianship. Upon receiving the petition, the court will schedule a guardianship termination hearing.

If you are the person who is seeking to terminate a guardianship, ask a Las Vegas guardianship lawyer to prepare your petition for the court and to accompany you to the guardianship termination hearing.

The judge at that hearing will determine if the protected person still requires a guardian and whether or not the guardianship should be terminated. A judge may require proof that the protected person is now competent to make his or her own medical and financial decisions.

For What Reasons Are Adult Guardianships Terminated?

An adult guardianship in Nevada may no longer be required for a number of reasons, including:

  1.  Death: When a protected person passes away, a guardian must inform the court and close the guardianship.
  2.  Relocation: An adult guardianship may be terminated in Nevada if the protected person has relocated to another state (with the court’s permission) and after guardianship has been established in that state. Proof of guardianship in the other state must be provided.
  3.  Competency: An adult guardianship may be terminated in Nevada if the protected person is an adult who has regained competency and is now capable of handling his or her own affairs.

If you believe that a guardian is exploiting your adult loved one, contact a Nevada guardianship attorney at once. That attorney will help you terminate the guardianship or transfer the guardianship to someone who is trustworthy and qualified.

What Are the Signs of Guardianship Abuse?

Financial exploitation happens when a guardian uses the protected person’s resources for that guardian’s personal gain. Financial exploitation may mean forging a signature, stealing cash, or pressuring a protected person to sign checks and other financial documents.

The warning signs of financial exploitation by a guardian include but aren’t limited to:

  1.  Unexplained or unusual financial activity: Large, unexpected withdrawals or transfers may be a sign of financial exploitation. If you suspect exploitation, review your loved one’s finances and bank statements carefully and regularly for suspicious activity.
  2.  Changes to insurance or estate planning documents: Unneeded and unanticipated changes to a trust, a will, an insurance policy, or a power of attorney may be a sign of financial exploitation.
  3.  Isolation from family and friends: A dishonest guardian may try to isolate a protected person from his or her family and friends to make financial exploitation easier (and more difficult to detect).
  4.  Neglecting basic needs: If a protected person’s nutritional, housing, or medical needs are not being met adequately, it may be a sign that the protected person’s financial resources are being stolen or diverted.

This cannot be stressed strongly enough: If you believe that a guardian is exploiting your loved one, contact a guardianship attorney at once. That attorney will act on your behalf, provide personalized advice, and explain what additional steps you will need to take.

What Happens at a Hearing to Terminate an Adult Guardianship?

In Nevada, hearings to terminate adult guardianships are typically conducted online. Those who have an interest in the guardianship – the guardian, the protected person and his or her family members, and possibly others – should receive an email with a link to the hearing several days in advance of it.

At that hearing, the judge will question everyone who participates and has an interest in the guardianship. After listening to each person’s testimony, the judge will hand down a decision.

If the judge ends the guardianship, that judge will sign an “Order Terminating Guardianship.” A copy of the order must then be sent to everyone who was involved. The termination of a guardianship ends a guardian’s legal responsibilities.

How Will a Guardianship Lawyer Help Your Family?

Whether you are seeking to establish or terminate an adult guardianship in Nevada, a Las Vegas guardianship attorney will provide the insights, advice, and representation that you will need.

Whether you are a family member, a protected person, or a guardian, it is important to have a Las Vegas guardianship lawyer review the guardianship, develop a legal strategy, walk you through the process, and make sure that your legal forms and paperwork are complete and accurate.

Let Fuller Law Practice Work on Your Family’s Behalf

If you need to establish or terminate a guardianship for an adult family member, Las Vegas family law attorney Rebecca Fuller at Fuller Law Practice offers the legal services and advice you will require.

Attorney Rebecca Fuller can help you understand the process of establishing or terminating an adult guardianship. She will prepare the necessary legal paperwork, prepare you for any required court hearings, and accompany you to those hearings.

The Fuller Law team has been advising and representing families in the Las Vegas area for over seventeen years. If you need to set up or terminate a guardianship for an adult in your family, promptly schedule a case evaluation by calling Fuller Law Practice at 702-935-4144.