Honolulu Guardianship Lawyers
Understanding Guardianship in Oahu and Neighboring Islands
When a person is no longer able to look after themselves, guardianship
is enacted to provide them with the care they require. The process allows
for them to maintain a degree of independence and continue their daily
life with a level of normalcy as the guardians act as minimally restrictive
as possible. They are present to act on behalf of the person under guardianship
for matters they are no longer deemed qualified to do on their own. At
Coates Frey Tanimoto & Gibson, AAL, LLLC, we will help you approach
guardianship for your loved one in a way that allows them to continue
living a semi-independent lifestyle safely and happily.
Our attorneys will help you establish guardianship for your loved ones
who need it. Call us today for help:
Are Any Rights Lost in a Guardianship?
A guardian is intended to provide for the well-being of the person under
guardianship. This care typically includes making important decisions
on their behalf. The best guardians consider the wishes and preferences
of the person in addition to their general well-being.
Still, even with a guardian acting in the person’s best interest
and with consideration of their desires, certain other rights are generally
forfeited, such as:
- Owning a firearm
- Filing lawsuits
- Making any real estate decisions
- Deciding on medical or end-of-life treatment
These are all done for the safety of the person under guardianship. Even
while giving up these rights, the guardian may help the person under guardianship
live a fulfilling and enjoyable life.
Frequently Asked Questions
We understand how complex guardianship cases can be. To help our clients
with some general knowledge, we have compiled a list of answers to some
common questions we receive.
Who or what is considered a guardian?
A guardian is someone who takes care of another individual’s needs.
They provide and help them receive shelter, education, food, and medical
care. Additionally, they may manage their finances.
How do guardianships differ from adoptions?
A guardianship is a legal relationship between a minor child and a guardian
that gives the guardian certain rights and obligations regarding the child.
However, guardianship does not sever the legal relationship that exists
between a child and their biological parents. Guardianship coexists with the legal relationship of the biological parents
as opposed to adoption which permanently alters the legal relationship
between a child and their biological parents. On the other hand, adopted
parents become the legal parents and biological parents give up all parental
rights and obligations. This means that biological parents no longer owe
child support, and the child can no longer automatically inherit from
his or her biological parents.
How do guardianships end?
Several events typically trigger the end of a guardianship, such as:
- The death of the child
- The child reaches the legal age of majority
- A judge determines that a guardianship is no longer necessary or beneficial
for the child
- The sole purpose of the guardianship was to manage the child’s finances,
and the child’s financial assets are exhausted.
Guardians can also ask a court to be relieved of their guardianship, at
which point the court will appoint a new guardian.
What does the term “guardian ad litem” mean?
Guardians ad litem are court-appointed representatives who stand in the
shoes of the minor during court proceedings that involve the minor in
some way. This is common in
divorces and disputes regarding estates, or any other situation where the court
determines that the minor (or incapacitated adult) cannot successfully
represent them. It’s preferred that the child’s close relatives
be guardian ad litem, but an attorney may be used as well.
If I am already a parent, would I ever need to become my child’s guardian?
Yes, if a child is left something in a person’s will, you may need
to become the child’s guardian. Courts are reluctant to hand over
financial assets intended for a child to the child’s parents. The
concern is that parents will misuse a gift that was intended for the child.
By setting up a guardianship you set in place certain obligations to make
yourself legally liable for those assets and their management.
Contact our Honolulu guardianship lawyers at Coates Frey Tanimoto & Gibson, AAL, LLLC for legal assistance establishing guardianship on Oahu and neighboring islands.