A guardianship action is filed for a number of reasons. Any time there is a person who is incapacitated and requires a competent adult to make medical or financial decisions on that person’s behalf, guardianship is an option. Any person, under the age of 18, is considered to be incapacitated because they have not reached the age of majority. If a child is residing with a family other than that child’s legal parents, a guardianship action would name those adults as the guardians of the child and would allow the guardians to then make medical decisions and financial decisions on behalf of the child. The guardians would also be able to enroll the child in school and make other decisions necessary for the child. Guardianship actions are also filed on behalf of adults who have become incapacitated.

In a guardianship action, a guardian ad litem is appointed for the incapacitated person. The guardian ad litem meets with the incapacitated person and with the proposed guardian and then recommends to the court whether a guardianship is necessary, and if so, whether the proposed guardian is the appropriate person to act in that capacity. The fee for the guardian ad litem is paid from the incapacitated person’s funds. Attorney fees will vary, depending upon the complexity of the matter.