From Our “Ask a Question” mailbag: How do I petition for guardianship of my brother? “My mother has taken care of my severely autistic little brother his whole life in Philadelphia. She can no longer do so and wants me to take on the responsibility. How do I become my brother’s legally recognized Guardian?”
A Petition For Guardianship Of The Person vs. Guardian Of The Estate.
A Petition for Guardianship can take two forms; a Petition for Guardian of the Estate and a Petition for Guardian of the Person. Each Petition is filed in the Philadelphia Orphans’ Court and will require that you prove to the judge that your brother is an incapacitated person. The judge will appoint a Guardian of the Estate if the judge finds your brother incapacitated and in need of a person to oversee his assets. Further, the judge will appoint a Guardian of the Person if the judge finds that your brother is incapacitated and in need of someone having the power to control and oversee even where he spends his time.
Orphans’ Court judges take their job very seriously, because taking away your brother’s right to handle his own money, or to determine where he spends his day, is a huge responsibility. Therefore you must provide the judge with an abundance of evidence that your brother is incapacitated and in need of a guardian. This will require a doctor’s input and it might also require the testimony of others. If you arrive unprepared, you may delay the process.
Notifying Interested Persons Of The Petition For Guardianship.
In addition, you must notify all interested persons about the petition for guardianship of your brother. This allows interested persons the chance to take part in the process and to provide the judge with relevant information. Given all the requirements, retaining an experienced Guardianship Attorney is a good idea. An experienced Guardianship Lawyer will help you prepare for your day in court and assemble all the necessary evidence. Furthermore, if any family member should challenge your petition, it is vital that you obtain seasoned legal advice.
If you have further questions about a Petition for Guardianship or any other Estate Planning questions, Contact our office for a free consultation
Wills, Trusts and Probate, and Estate Litigation it’s all we do!
Peter Klenk, Esq.