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Court Appointed Guardian To Manage Your Affairs

How Does The Court Choose A Guardian?

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Judges have discretion to appoint almost anyone as a guardian. The court may also appoint multiple guardians who share or split responsibilities.

If you suggest a choice: If you execute a pre-need designation of guardian which specifies your choice for a guardian, the courts don't have to abide by your choice. However, if the person seems suitable and there are no objections, it's likely the court will follow your wishes.

If your state doesn't allow a pre-need designation, you can still write a letter that lets the court know your preference. Keep the letter with your other important documents.

Family and friends: If someone notifies the court that he or she is interested in taking on the role, that person will usually be appointed guardian if the court believes the person is suitable.

If several of your family members or friends all want the job, the judge will usually choose among them. In most states, preference will usually be given first to your spouse, then to your adult children, adult siblings, and other blood relatives.

If no family or friends offer to serve as guardian: The judge may appoint a lawyer or a public or private agency to serve as guardian -- and charge fees which will be paid from your assets. This arrangement will both drain your finances and result in having someone manage your assets who has little or no interest in you personally.

Your close family members and friends can object to the conservatorship itself or to the choice of guardian.

If you want to choose a guardian, see Choosing A Guardian.

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