What is a "Guardianship over an Adult"?
There are times when an adult, because of a physical or mental challenge, is no longer able to conduct her everyday affairs. In such instances, a guardian is appointed for the person and the estate by a judge.
The guardian is responsible for ensuring that the person's medical/psychological needs are met (guardianship over the person) and for protecting the person's finances and in assisting her in conducting day-to day financial matters (guardianship over the estate).
Please note that if the person is mentally competent and just wants someone to assist her in paying bills and running errands, a power of attorney will probably suffice. Guardianships over an adult are for situations where the person faces serious mental and/or physical challenges that prevent the person from conducting her daily affairs without the danger that someone will try to take advantage of her.
What is the process for obtaining a guardianship over an adult?
The proposed guardian(s) must file a Petition for Guardianship over a Disabled Person in which the need for the guardianship is explained. The petition must include a letter from a doctor who verifies the disability and the fact that because of the disability the person is "unable, unassisted, properly to manage and take care of himself or his property, and by reason thereof is likely to be deceived or imposed upon by artful or designing persons". In addition, an inventory of the person's assets, debts, and sources of income must be submitted to the court. If the guardianship is approved, the guardian must file an annual accounting for the income received and the various bills paid on behalf of the disabled person.
Once the petition is filed, the matter will be set down for a hearing. Both the proposed guardian(s) and the disabled adult must attend the hearing unless there are very special circumstances that prevent the disabled person from attending.
In some instances the Guam Public Guardian may be able to assist you with an adult guardianship at no cost. To discuss this possibility you can reach them at 475-3173.
How much will an adult guardianship case cost?
The legal fee is $1,200 and the court fees are $320, for a total of $1,520*. This includes the preparation of the necessary court documents, the preparation of the first inventory, and one court hearing. Notary fees are extra. If any additional services are required or more than one hearing is necessary, there will be an additional charge of $250 per hour.
* There is a 3 1/2 % processing fee if using a credit card and a $15 processing fee if the funds are wired into our trust account.
How can I get started with my adult guardianship case?
Simply click on the "Adult Guardianship Worksheet" button and complete the form. It is important that you fill the worksheet out completely. Once you have completed the worksheet, call my office at 472-8472 and set up an appointment for a consultation. The consultation fee is $75 for up to 30 minutes. Be sure to bring the worksheet with you, and the doctor's letter, if you have it. Without a worksheet, I will not be able to meet with you. >Click here to get started with a worksheet
This explanation sheet is provided for general information only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. You should discuss the specifics of your situation with a reputable attorney prior to taking any legal action. Neither this site nor anyone associated with this site shall be held liable for the use of the information contained in this document or for any decisions made based on the information provided herein.