What are the steps to obtain guardianship?:

1 answer | Last updated: Mar 30, 2015
A fellow caregiver asked...

My aunt recently filed a petition to become the legal guardian of my father (her brother). I am not really sure what this means, and was wondering if anyone could explain this to me so that I know what the court proceedings are going to be like. Since I am only a minor, I am aware that I cannot file against her petition until I am at least eighteen, but is there anything that I can legally do to make sure that she takes the proper steps in securing his well being. I know that she is planning on taking over his finances and also put him into a nursing home - if that helps answer my question.

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

When your aunt files papers to become your dad’s legal guardian, the court is supposed to notify your dad’s close relatives about the possible new arrangement—and you will likely be on that list. It is then likely that a judge will ask you and some of the other people who are close to your dad for your opinions on his needs and the best way to care for him.

On the chance that the judge does not hold a hearing that requires your presence, you might want to find out who will be attending—and make any specific concerns you have known to him or her.

Finally, consider having a heart-to-heart talk with your aunt about what she intends to do to care for your dad—and how you can help.

There’s an informative article about the basics of this legal arrangement in this article on this site, “How a Conservatorship, or Adult Guardianship, Works.”