People almost always discuss guardianship as a permanent thing, but not all guardianships need to last forever. People heal, resources become available, and opportunities abound for helping those close to us remain as independent as possible. Sometimes, though, there is no time to lose in regards to the amount of time that passes before a hearing. In Kansas, a court may grant temporary guardianship of a person if their well-being is in imminent danger. The Kansas law regarding temporary guardianship appears in Article 30 of the Kansas Probate Code.
One situation in which temporary guardianship can be used is during the process of filing for long-term guardianship. Long-term guardianships involve the filing of a petition and a hearing, with time in between the two where the proposed ward would be without a guardian if not for the availability of temporary guardianship. In some cases where guardianship is sought, there is no real emergency or imminent danger because the situation is proceeding in a direction where guardianship is needed and the hearing for guardianship occurs before any exigent circumstances arise. In these cases, no petition for temporary guardianship gets filed.
In cases where circumstances create an imminent risk of harm to the health or safety of the proposed ward, the court can grant a temporary guardianship at any time after the date that a petition gets filed or before the date that the hearing for long-term guardianship takes place. When a person files the petition for temporary guardianship, they must include a statement outlining the factual basis for their claim that the ward’s physical health or safety is in imminent danger, along with names and addresses of witnesses who can support their petition. The court will use this information to determine whether to grant temporary guardianship.
Temporary guardianship in Kansas is granted without a hearing, and because of this, a temporary guardianship order is considered an emergency appointment. It is important that the specifics of the arrangement are noted as part of the hearing process. A person’s authority as temporary guardian may not be as extensive as that of a long-term guardian. The guardian’s authority is detailed in the temporary guardianship order, and it will likely include the ability to make arrangements for the ward’s care and to protect his comfort and safety. Temporary guardianship authority cannot be granted for longer than thirty days at a time. It can be periodically extended by the court, and it will automatically terminate when the hearing on long-term guardianship is concluded.
Temporary guardianship can bridge the gap between no guardianship and full guardianship. It can also help individuals and families get through a rough patch in their lives, as it provides the protection of a full guardianship until a long-term guardianship is granted. If you have legal questions about guardianship, Kansas Guardianship Attorney Thomas McDowell is here to help you. Please call our office today, at (316) 633-4322 to make an appointment for your initial consultation.