Legal adult guardianship is when one person can make decisions on behalf of another. It is done when one person becomes incapacitated and cannot make decisions on their own. Legal guardianship involves approaching the court to seek an appointment. The court will ultimately decide who becomes the guardian.
The probate court is responsible for appointing a guardian in South Carolina. If seeking guardianship, one must begin the process with the court to persuade the judge that someone is incapacitated for whatever reason. This could include physical or mental disabilities or advancing age. The Court will need evidence of incapacity from a medical provider. The Court will also appoint a Guardian ad Litem to investigate and report their findings to the Court regarding the suitability of the proposed Guardian and appropriateness of the incapacitated individuals placement and plan of care.
Then, the petitioner for guardianship will also need to be vetted by the probate court. The judge would need confidence that the proposed guardian has the ability to make the proper decisions on behalf of the ward. The court will pay very close attention to whether the proposed guardian is appropriate because they will have power over someone else. As you can see, this can be a complex proceeding that may take time.
In many cases, it is best to avoid the guardianship process altogether. Individuals can execute powers of attorney before they become incapacitated. This way, there is a mechanism in place to make key decisions without having to involve the court.
South Carolina Conservatorship and Guardianship Lawyers
Guardianship is a complex process, and you need the help of an attorney. Of course, you should consult an estate planning attorney before guardianship is necessary. Contact Parker Law online or call us at (803) 784-4203 to learn about your legal options.
What can a guardian do?
They have the ability to make healthcare decisions and decide where the ward is placed.
How can a guardianship lawyer help?
They can explain the legal process and help present your case in court.
What happens after the guardianship is granted?
The guardian needs to report to the court.