GUARDIANSHIP

Guardianships For Adults and Minors


When parents of minors have died or are unable to care for their children, a guardianship for the child
or children is a common solution. Likewise, when adults of any age are unable to manage their own
affairs, whether because of mental or physical incapacitation or any other reason, a guardianship can
put legal protections in place for the person in need of care as well as for whoever takes responsibility
for that person’s personal business.


Adult Guardianship


Whether you are looking for legal guidance in hopes of establishing a guardianship for an adult or child
in central Arkansas, King & Forrest Law Group can assist you. This law firm has seen increasing needs for
adult guardianships for many reasons, including for the care of people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.


There may already be a power of attorney in place but you have found that banks and other institutions
consider it too old to be considered valid without further evidence. You may need to ask a court to
determine that the adult in question is permanently unable to effectively receive or evaluate
information or both or make or communicate decisions, and a legal guardianship is needed.


Our attorneys can help you obtain up-to-date guardianship documents for your family member or other
“ward.”


There are two types of adult guardianship in Arkansas. One is guardianship over the person, which
allows the guardian to make decisions about the ward’s personal safety and healthcare. The other is
guardianship over the person and estate, which gives the guardian more control over decisions
pertaining to both the person and their assets/property.


Sometimes a loved one does not agree that he or she needs a guardian. The guardianship is then
considered contested. The courts take the proposed Ward’s rights seriously and may appoint an ad litem
attorney to represent the wishes of the guardian. Other times family members and loved ones do not
agree on who would take the best care of the proposed Ward. In this case, the party opposing the
appointment of a specific person as guardian needs an adept litigator, familiar with the Probate Courts
and the Guardianship process. Ms. King has handled numerous guardianship litigation matters and is
always a staunch advocate in court.


What Does A Guardian Do? What Are They Responsible For?


A guardian takes legal responsibility over an adult ward, which means that they are responsible for
making decisions on the wards behalf that meet their daily and long-term needs, maintain their physical
and financial wellbeing, and protect them from abuse and neglect.


The guardian has the power to make medical and financial decisions on behalf of the ward, so long as
they are in the ward’s best interest. They are responsible for handling and managing the ward’s affairs
and consenting to placement and treatment options for the ward.


There are certain decisions that guardians in Arkansas cannot make on behalf of wards without approval
from the Court. This includes decisions like preventing medical professionals from attending to the
ward, transferring business ownership, terminating parental rights over a minor, and major property
acquisitions or purchases, among other things.

Who Can Be An Adult Guardian In Arkansas?


Usually, a close friend or family member will apply for a guardianship appointment if the need arises.
However, while this is often preferable, it is not a requirement for guardianship.
In order to become a legal adult guardian in Arkansas, you must be:


Over the age of 18


A resident of the State of Arkansas (or have a registered agent for service in Arkansas)


Of sound mind


Not a convicted and unpardoned felon; or


A convicted and unpardoned felon who has disclosed his or her prior felony conviction and for whom
the court has entered written findings stating that, notwithstanding the felony conviction, he or she is
otherwise qualified after reviewing a certified copy of the sentencing order.


If an incapacitated adult needs a guardian and there is no one close to them that meets these
qualifications, and/or no one willing or able to take on guardianship, a guardian can be appointed to
them by the Court.


Guardianship For Children


You may be a grandparent caring for grandchildren in a parental role, or another family member who is
caring for a child in absence of their natural parent. You need legal authority to take the children to the
doctor, enroll them in school and make other decisions and arrangements for them. King & Forrest Law
Group can guide you through the necessary steps for getting minor guardianships in place.


Difference between Guardianship and Custody


A legal parent or guardian is integral to the proper care of a child. The parent or guardian is the only
person that can make medical decisions, enroll children in school and make other legal decisions on
behalf of the child.


Guardianship is least invasive for a parent to release care of their child. Often this is done for temporary
purposes. The process for determining custody tends to be flexible and open to modification depending
on any substantial change in circumstances, if that modification is in the best interests of the child in
question. Custody generally differs from natural parent to natural parent, while any relative, close
friend, or court-appointed individual can be a guardian.