If your brother is incarcerated, the court may well see that it is necessary for a trusted individual to make routine decisions for your niece. Without the guardianship, it is difficult to handle many situations such as enrolling her in school or getting medical care or even signing her up for after school activities. She should have someone available who has the legal authority to manage these details.
In some counties, it will be necessary to have an attorney to file the guardianship application in probate court. That is especially true where the application is for a guardianship of the estate where a bond must be posted. You should call your local probate court for specific information about your county.
Two prerequisites should exist before a court appoints a guardian:
1. The individual must be incompetent in at least one important area of their lives.
2. There must also be a present need for the guardianship.
There are several types of Guardianships:
Guardianship of the Estate gives the guardian the authority to make all financial decisions for the ward.
Guardianship of the Person gives the guardian the authority to make all day-to-day decisions other than financial such as arrangements for food, clothing, esidence, medical care, recreation and education.
Plenary Guardianship, or Guardianship of Person and Estate gives the guardian the authority to make nearly all decisions for the individual, and combines the authority of guardianship of person and guardianship of estate.
Interim Guardianship Interim guardianship allows a court to appoint someone on a temporary or interim basis because the former guardian is no longer available.
This is for general information only and should not be used as legal advice. No attorney-client relationship has been established. Please seek out a competent attorney in your area to assist you.