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Five Things You Should Know About Guardianship in Rhode Island

Gene Kirzhner May 5, 2020

Anyone that has ever had children will tell you that parenting is not as easy as it seems. You have to take the good with the bad and learn alongside these individuals from day one until they officially leave the nest. It’s a tough, brave, and exciting journey with countless twists and turns.

But, what about those that have a few extra turns and spinouts along the way? What about the children in need of a parent in the strangest of situations? For this, we look to the guidance of guardianship. However, guardianship is just as challenging as parenting—and many of the hardships are actually legal ones.

With this said, below are five things you should absolutely know before choosing to be anyone’s guardian. This way, you can be sure that this is the path you want to take and know how to do it the right way from the start.

1. Guardianship Is only Appropriate when An Individual’s Impaired Judgment Poses a Threat to Themselves and Others

One common misconception people tend to have is that guardianship is always an option. Although many cases may be approved, there are others where guardianship simply wouldn’t be appropriate.

If the person you wish to become a guardian for is able to make decisions on their own in a mature and responsible manner, the court may choose to deny your guardianship request. However, if the individual is a child or is unable to think logically, your assistance will likely be more than welcome in a court of law.

2. a Physician Must Attest to The Incompetence of The Individual

Another mistake people often make is thinking that they can attest to the individual’s inability to make decisions on their own. To be legally approved, you must visit an approved physician and have them analyze the individual thoroughly. If they find that the individual is incompetent, you can move forward with the guardianship process.

3. Guardianship Can Be Temporary or Until the Passing of The Guardian or Ward

There are two ways to handle a guardianship arrangement. The first arrangement allows for the guardianship to be revoked when the individual gets older or when they are deemed competent.

The second option is for those that are either impaired in some way or will likely need help for the remainder of their life. In these situations, a permanent guardianship is requested, lasting until either the guardian or the ward passes away.

4. Guardians Are Required to Keep Track of Much More than The Ward’s Health and Safety

One of the main things a lot of guardians don’t realize before they begin the guardianship process is that it is not just about the ward’s health and safety. In fact, a guardian’s responsibilities are immense, ranging from keeping track of finances and setting appointments, all the way to preparing meals, keeping their house neat and tidy.

These various requirements can be time consuming and tedious, which is why it is often said that guardianship is not for everyone and only responsible individuals should move forward with the process.

5. There Are Several Alternatives to Guardianship Many Consider First

Guardianship is not the only option out there. Sometimes, it may be better for the possible ward and the individuals involved to look into alternatives first. To accomplish this, you may want to turn to a qualified local attorney that can help you find the best option for you.

If you need this kind of help moving forward in the state of Rhode Island, contact the Law Offices of Howe and Garside immediately! We will be happy to help you make the right decisions for all parties involved and move towards a brighter future starting today!