What will the guardianship hearing be like?

Guardianship hearings can be informal, especially if everyone involves believes a guardianship is necessary. Guardianship cases can also be highly contested and emotional. Every single case is different.

At the hearing, the Petitioner or their attorney presents evidence as to 1) why they believe the person is legally incompetent and cannot manage their own affairs, 2) what type of guardianship they believe is necessary, and also on 3) who they recommend be appointed as Guardian to make decisions concerning the Respondent's person and property.

Even if you are not an attorney, you will still be required to follow the same rules that attorneys follow including the rules of evidence. You may be required to subpoena witnesses and medical records, present the testimony of your witnesses through questions (called direct testimony), ask the respondent's witnesses questions, and so forth. The proof you must have in a guardianship case is higher than most civil cases.

The Clerk or Assistant Clerk will hear the Guardian ad Litem's report (a written report will be provided to the court), hear any testimony and argument, and determine if the respondent is incompetent. If the clerk finds that the respondent is incompetent, he or she will prepare a written order saying the respondent is incompetent, and appoint a guardian. The guardian will go with the Clerk or Assistant Clerk to the Estates division to complete paperwork and be sworn in as guardian. The guardian will take an oath and post a bond if necessary. Finally, the guardian will be issued Letters of Guardianship.

Our guardianship attorneys have substantial experience in handling incompetency and guardianship cases on behalf of petitioners or contesting family members. Contact us to set up a consultation.