Guardianship & Conservatorship Attorneys
We are your legal resource for Arkansas guardianship and conservatorship.
Destiny Law Firm’s experienced guardianship attorneys in Little Rock have represented people in guardianship and conservatorship cases throughout Arkansas. Sometimes people are unable to make or communicate personal, legal and/or financial decisions to manage themselves and their property, assets, or debt. The person may need assistance only partially and can still do somethings for themselves and may only need a limited guardian. Most people who need assistance from others need to establish guardianship of the person, or guardianship of the estate, or both.
A guardianship case is a probate proceeding. This means the laws and rules must be carefully followed. Facts and truths must be verified under oath, and any person signing the document must be notarized by a notary public.
The Arkansas Probate Code requires that, for a person to be under a guardianship, they must be determined to be incapacitated. Having limited mental or physical ability alone is not sufficient cause to obtain a guardianship.
An incapacitated person is one who is impaired by a disability to such a degree that the person lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate decisions to maintain his or her own health or safety, or to manage his or her own estate. They generally are unable to function to maintain their own health, care, and well-being on a consistent basis, or to handle their own affairs. Their inability to handle these things must put them at risk for serious illness, physical injury, or loss of their assets and property.
There are generally two aspects to guardianship: personal matters and financial matters. Guardianship of the person includes handling daily living decisions, including medical care and needs, psychological and psychiatric needs, and independently living abilities. Adaptive functioning is considered as well.
Money matters and financial affairs are covered by a guardianship of the estate.
Only one person may serve as a guardian of the person. Two people may jointly serve as guardian of the estate if they are married parents of a child. A guardianship may be a full plenary guardianship, or may be granted through a limited guardianship of the person or estate and limited to only certain functions.
To obtain a guardianship, you must prove the person is a minor and that their parents are unable to care for them. You can prove incapacity for care by a doctor’s affidavit or other professional verifying the facts and validating the need for it. If there is an emergency, it must also be proven. In that case, three hearings are necessary instead of just one. This can triple the cost of the proceedings. In non-emergency cases, a hearing cannot be held until at least 20 days after service of a Petition for Guardianship and any other necessary documents.
A person who is under a guardianship is known as a ward. The court may appoint a special attorney known as an attorney ad litem to represent a ward. This must be paid for by the petitioner or the ward’s estate in most cases.
Guardianship cases can be complicated. Let an experienced guardianship attorney in Little Rock be your partner. At Destiny Law Firm, we will guide you through the process and advocate for your rights.
A conservatorship is a similar proceeding in Arkansas, but it is different than conservatorships granted in other states. In Arkansas, a conservatorship is granted when a person is mentally competent, but still chooses to have someone else handle their affairs.
A guardianship case is usually a complex legal proceeding that requires special knowledge to navigate correctly. Attorney Destiny McHughes is a certified domestic relation & probate mediator, which allows her to handle domestic needs such as guardianship and conservatorship with exceptional skill. Contact Destiny Law’s professional guardianship and conservatorship attorneys today.
Call our office at (501) 372-1200 to learn more, or schedule a consultation.