Many vulnerable people in Oklahoma City are unable to care for their own needs. These can be children who are left without parents, elderly people whose minds are no longer strong, or adults with developmental disabilities. The law allows certain people to take control of these vulnerable individuals’ lives. Known as guardians, these people can take a direct hand in protecting such individuals and making important decisions that impact their lives. A guardian assumes full legal control over a person’s life.
An Oklahoma City guardianship lawyer from The Smith Firm could help those who are looking to establish guardianships over others. Our knowledgeable family attorneys can explain the purposes of these legal relationships and take steps to convince the court of the necessity of such action in your specific case.
It is a sad fact that situations may arise where a child’s biological parents are no longer able to care for the well-being of that child. This can be the result of death, incapacity, drug addiction, or incarceration. When such circumstances occur, the child will enter the foster care system unless a parent’s will appoints a new guardian.
In situations where there is no will, another party may petition the probate court to assume guardianship over the child. According to Oklahoma Statutes § 30-2-101, the court may order a full investigation into the home life and background of the prospective guardian. The purpose of this investigation is to ensure that the child will have a safe home and that the prospective guardian has the proper motivations for serving in this role.
If the court accepts the petition for guardianship, that guardian now has full legal authority over the child. This includes an obligation to provide food, shelter, and clothing. Additionally, that guardian can now make decisions concerning that child’s education, activities, and all other matters. An experienced Oklahoma City guardianship attorney could help adults who are looking to become the guardian of a child in need.
At some point during many adults’ lives, they are left unable to make decisions to preserve their own well-being. This may be the result of an accident, a disease, or the slow movement of time. In any case, these people may be appropriate subjects for guardianships or conservatorships.
One essential concept in many guardianship cases is the concept of disability. As a rule, adults retain control over their own affairs as long as they are of a stable mind. However, courts do have the power to evaluate the mental capacities of individuals for the purpose of appointing guardians or conservators.
Under Okla. Stat. § 30-3-108, courts can appoint a physician, psychologist, or another medical professional to determine the extent of a person’s mental capacity. The resulting report is evidence in the guardianship hearing. A party making the motion to be appointed as a guardian bears the burden of being able to prove disability and may employ their own experts to provide opinions as to the extent of mental incapacity. A well-practiced guardianship lawyer from our firm could provide more information about the legal processes involved in obtaining guardianship over an adult in Oklahoma City.
Unfortunately, many individuals are unable to care for their own needs. These can include children who have lost their biological parents or adults who have suffered injuries or illnesses that affect their mental processes. In both cases, Oklahoma City laws allow adults to file petitions for powers of guardianship or conservatorship.
The petitioners must always be able to present persuasive cases as to why a court should grant their requests. This includes demonstrating an ability to serve in the role, their status as a family member or holder of power of attorney, or even doctor’s notes that indicate the extent of the disability.
An Oklahoma City guardianship lawyer from The Smith Firm could provide valuable assistance throughout this process. Our seasoned attorneys can explain the guardianship process, when these arrangements may be possible, and help you establish this role to care for someone in need. Call today to schedule an initial consultation with a member of our team.