FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
How long does the guardianship process take?
The process can take up to 2-3 months depending on the court calendar. The court calendar is booked out on average 4-6 weeks in advance.
When should I start the process of seeking guardianship?
We recommend that you start the process 2-3 months before you need the guardianship. For children turning 18 you would start the process 2-3 months prior to their 18th birthday.
Do I need to seek guardianship of my special needs child before he/she turns 18?
No. Your child is a minor child until their 18th birthday. As a parent of a minor child you do not need to seek guardianship of your own child. Also you are seeking guardianship of an incapacitated adult which means that you can not have a guardianship hearing with the court until on or after the 18th birthday.
Can a guardianship be terminated?
Yes, a guardianship can be terminated when the protected person gains or regains competency.
How many guardians can a person have?
A protected person can have up to 3 co-guardians.
Can the guardianship be amended to change a guardian or the type of guardianship?
Yes a guardianship can be amended as needed depending on the needs of the protected person.
What kind of ongoing records do I need to provide to the court?
Guardians are required to file a Yearly Status Report on the Ward. Parent guardians are exempt from this responsibility. The Yearly Status Report is due annually to the court. Conservators must file an inventory within 90 days of being appointed and then a Yearly Accounting. All conservators--even parent conservators must file an annual accounting.
COURT FILING FEES:
The court charges a fee to file a guardianship case. For parents who are seeking guardianship of their own child the court filing fee is $35.00. For all other case the court filing fee is $360.00. The court has a fee waiver program in place for those who are required to pay $360.00 and can not afford this fee due to income.
GUARDIANSHIP SIGNATURE PROGRAM:
In many District Courts a new program allows Petitioners to request that an attorney be appointed to represent the protected person. The court is accumulating names of attorneys who are willing to represent protected individuals at reduced fees. The fees for this attorney are based on the income of the protected person and in many cases this representation could be provided free of charge. This program is helpful to Petitioners who are not parents.
SURROGATE DECISION MAKING:
Guardianship is legal decision making in behalf of a protected person. There are two types of surrogate decision making:
WHAT IS A GUARDIAN?
Guardianship is surrogate decision making for a person who is over the age of 18 and is unable to make decisions due to some level of incapacity. When a person reaches the age of 18 they receive all of the adult legal rights . If they are unable to understand these rights and exercise them due to incapacity, a judge can appoint a guardian to protect that individual and make legal decisions for them.
HOW TO GET STARTED:
When you decide to seek guardianship the first thing you need to do is gather the medical information that the court will require. The court prefers to see 2 different types of medical information:
TYPES OF GUARDIANSHIP:
Utah Statute allows for two different types of guardianship. As you seek guardianship for a family member you will seek one of these two types of guardianship. The Petitioner(s) is required to seek the least restrictive type of guardianship based on the needs of the protected person.
WHAT IS A CONSERVATOR?
A conservator is someone who manages a protected person's assets and estate. In the state of Utah a person who is incapacitated and has assets over $20,000 might benefit from having a Conservator. If an incapacitated person does not have an estate or assets over $20,000 a financial guardian could be appointed to protect the asset.
GUARDIANSHIP ASSOCIATES OF UTAH