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Special Circumstance in a Guardianship

If there is someone in your life that is not able to manage their medical and health care on their own, you may seek guardianship in order to manage those tasks for them. Guardianships are often sought not only for elderly family members but also for disabled adult children and others that similarly require assistance in managing their health and medical care.

When seeking to have guardianship appointed, you will need to petition the court for that appointment. This involves a substantial amount of paperwork and legal filings, as well as a significant investment of time. Managing the guardianship, as well as acting as the guardian and managing the ward’s medical care, will require a massive amount of organization to keep records, paperwork, and filings all in order.

Emergency Guardianship

While the requirements and circumstances for emergency guardianship vary from state to state, the basics for determining whether or not guardianship will be awarded are pretty much the same across the board. The two main reasons that emergency guardianship may be awarded are:

● Serious Risk of Death or Bodily Harm: In most cases, emergency guardianship is granted when an incapacitated adult poses a risk to themselves, but the courts may also grant it if other people in the home are at risk.
● Incapacitation: Guardianship will only be appointed if a letter or certificate from a psychologist or physician states that the prospective ward can not make important decisions because of injury, disease, mental disability, or other incapacities.

Another situation in which it may be necessary to get the courts involved is to have to appoint a temporary guardian in the event that the current guardian resigns, is removed by the court, or passes away.

Temporary Guardianship

A temporary guardianship in the state of Arizona will typically allow one adult to make medical or legal decisions for a disabled or incapacitated adult, or a minor child in some circumstances. The temporary guardianship cannot last longer than six months, but that is often long enough to establish permanent guardianship if needed.

When it comes to temporary guardianship of children, this is often granted if a parent is going to be recovering from surgery for several weeks, a child is in a dangerous living situation, or you have an extended business trip and are unable to take your child. Relatives and trusted friends are eligible options for guardians. Children ages 14 and older may nominate their preferred guardian. Temporary guardianship for children is also for a six month period.

Permanent Guardianship

When permanent guardianship is awarded, it allows a qualified adult to make all major decisions for the ward, whether it be an adult or a minor. If the case involves a child, parental rights are permanently terminated.

There are many situations in which you may want to take over as guardian of an adult:

● Chronic drug use
● Mental illness
● Developmental Disabilities
● Physical disability or illness
● Traumatic Brain Injury

Regardless of why you are looking to become the guardian of your adult child, you will need to prove that they are unable to make their own decisions and that you are the best person to take over for them.


For many families, when someone is granted guardianship, they may also try for a conservatorship, as well. There are similarities between the two, but they are quite different. Conservatorship and guardianship are not always needed if the incapacitated person has a power of attorney appointed. However, not everyone has a POA in place before one is needed.

When a conservator is appointed to the incapacitated person, they are still able to make their own legal and medical decisions. The role of the conservator is to make decisions about the person’s assets and finances if they are unable to handle the task. In some cases, the conservator serves as a guardian as well.

Potential Complications

Guardianships are not typically contested. However, if a relative believes you should not oversee the care of the incapacitated adult, they may choose to object to you being appointed as guardian or conservator.

Objections may be done before or after the court appoints a guardian or conservator. It is much easier to successfully contest the conservatorship or guardianship before one has been appointed. If your ability to provide care for your loved one has been called into question or challenged, you may want to seek legal assistance moving forward.

When to use an Attorney

If you believe a relative or someone else could object to your guardianship request, it could be time to contact an attorney. If you want the best chances of winning your case, contact a us today to see if we can help or if we can refer you to a qualified custody and guardianship attorney in Arizona.

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