When you have concerns about adults in your life who cannot care for themselves, setting up guardianship is usually a good option. These guardianships provide adults with someone to look after them and keep them safe from harm. For most, seeking guardianship is effective in protecting disabled or incapacitated adults.
Unfortunately, most Pennsylvania residents have no idea how to secure guardianship for adults. Following are some of the steps required to establish guardianship for your at-risk adult:
- File a petition to have a guardian appointed for the person or the person’s estate. Your petition must include information about the adult and details about their incapacitation (such as functional limitations and health).
- Make sure your petition contains details about the proposed guardian for the individual. You must show that the candidate is qualified to act as a guardian and has no interests that run contrary to the adult’s best interests. You must also specify the powers the proposed guardian will have.
- Serve the adult with a copy of the petition, including the date and time of a mandatory hearing. The notice should include descriptions of their rights. Examples include the right to legal counsel and an independent evaluation.
- Attend the guardianship hearing prepared to show why the person in question requires guardianship or why the adult’s estate needs a guardianship or conservatorship (for estates). Courts need this information to make the best decision on behalf of the adult.
This is just some of the basic information necessary to petition for adult guardianship. When your adult loved one’s health and assets are at risk, it is wise to use every resource at your disposal, including guidance from an experienced attorney.