Guardianships

Charlotte Area Law Firm Handles Guardianship Proceedings

Experienced attorneys diligently pursue protection for clients’ loved ones

When loved ones are unable to care for themselves or minor children lose their parents, it is often necessary to have someone appointed as a guardian to be responsible for their personal well-being and finances. The lawyers at John F. Hanzel, P.A. have decades of experience in guiding clients through the guardianship process.

A guardianship is established with court approval and requires court filings and proceedings. Anyone can file a petition with the superior court clerk alleging an adult’s incompetence and requesting that a guardian be appointed. A person who is appointed by a court to act as a guardian of a person or estate has a fiduciary responsibility. People who have guardians appointed for their benefit are called wards.

Because of the legal requirements necessary to obtain a guardianship and the responsibilities a guardian must exercise, it is vital to have an experienced guardianship lawyer on your side, one who has extensive knowledge of guardianship law.

Proper estate planning can help you avoid the need for a guardianship proceeding. This can generally be done by executing a power of attorney and choosing the person you want to take care of you, your property and your children should you become incapacitated or die. If you do not have a power of attorney in place, your relatives or others may file with a court to have guardianship appointed for you and/or your property.

What types of guardianships are there in North Carolina?

The following types of guardianship are recognized in North Carolina:

  • Guardianship of a person — The guardian of a person is responsible for day-to-day care of an individual, including medical decisions.
  • Guardianship of an estate The guardian of an estate is responsible for financial decisions related to an individual.
  • General guardianship A general guardian is responsible for both personal and financial decisions.

A court determines if appointment of a guardian is in the best interests of the person, the estate or both. Temporary guardianship, also referred to as temporary custody, may be awarded by a court with respect to minor children or others, especially if there is concern about an absent parent or caregiver or abuse or mistreatment. Temporary custody is intended to address the problem on a temporary basis until a permanent guardian can be appointed.

A guardianship ends when any of the following occur:

  • The ward dies.
  • The ward’s competence is restored.
  • The guardian resigns.
  • The court removes the guardian.

Contact an experienced guardianship attorney to address the needs of your loved one

For help appointing a guardian for those you love and care for, contact John F. Hanzel, P.A. at 704-892-1375 or online today. Saturday appointments are available. Our office serves clients in Cornelius, Charlotte, Huntersville, Mooresville, Lincolnton, Davidson, Lake Norman and the surrounding areas. Se habla español.