Because the process of establishing guardianship can be involved and lengthy, it is helpful to educate yourself on what is involved as much as possible prior to filing a petition. One facet of guardianship that prospective guardians should address sooner rather than later is the associated costs of guardianship. Many guardians misunderstand their economic role and obligation as guardian and are wrongly discouraged by taking on the appointment. Once a person (or ward) is determined incapacitated the judge will decide he or she requires a guardian and one is appointed. Prior to and after the established guardianship there are required costs, however, many are covered through the ward’s estate and are not the obligation of the guardian.
Required Costs Before Guardianship is Established
To initiate the guardianship process a petition must be filed with the District Court in the county where the person in need resides. There are costs associated with submitting a petition to determine incapacity, which the court calls a filing fee and each county sets the amount it requires. There are also costs associated with hiring requisite nurses or healthcare providers to submit their reports and recommendations regarding the evaluations they perform. The person needing care will also be afforded an attorney by the court to ensure their best interests are being cared for, which cost a fee. A personal service officer or representative may also need to be hired to properly serve required family members with a copy of the petition notifying them of the upcoming guardianship hearing. Depending on the state law, some courts allow family members to be served by certified mail instead, which can save service of process costs.
Required Costs After Guardianship is Established
One of the responsibilities of an appointed guardian is to ensure all costs and fees are properly paid on behalf of the ward. Some courts require that the guardian must seek court approval prior to making any influential decisions on behalf of the ward. This may require attorney’s fees for drafting and handling specific petitions and other accounting or inventory documents. The court closely monitors the actions and behavior of the guardian and therefore may require certain annual ledgers of any decisions made or costs incurred on the ward’s behalf. The comforting news for most guardians is that they are not obligated to incur costs on behalf of the ward, the primary source of financial responsibility can be achieved through their estate and the personal funds.
An Experienced Kansas Guardianship Attorney Today Can Answer Your Questions Today
Kansas Guardianship Attorney Tom McDowell has decades of experience helping families find the care and assistance their loved ones deserve through guardianship. He and his legal team understand the intricacies the guardianship process can bring and look forward to helping your family navigate the legal process through to success. Call Kansas Guardianship Lawyer Tom McDowell, at McDowell Chartered Legal Services today (316) 633-4322 to see how he can help you determine if guardianship is the right fit for you or a loved one and what associated costs you can expect.