Guardianship

A guardian has the care, custody and control of the person and has the legal authority to consent to things concerning the daily care of the child. They must be competent, capable, and willing to take on this role.

An appointment of guardian suspends the biological parent’s authority, but it does not terminate the parent’s rights.  A guardian is required to provide all of the child’s basic needs (education, medical care, shelter, etc.)  The biological parents are still financially responsible for the child.

A protected person is defined under NRS 159.0253 as any person (besides a minor) for whom a guardian has been appointed.

 

NRS 159.079 General functions of guardian of a person

1. Except as otherwise ordered by the court, a guardian of the person has the care, custody and control of the person of the protected person, and has the authority and, subject to subsection 2, shall perform the duties necessary for the proper care, maintenance, education and support of the protected person, including the following:

  • Supplying the protected person with food, clothing, shelter and all incidental necessaries.
  • Authorizing medical, surgical, dental, psychiatric, psychological, hygienic or other remedial care and treatment for the protected person.
  • Seeing that the protected person is properly trained and educated and that the protected person has the opportunity to learn a trade, occupation or profession.

2. In the performance of the duties enumerated in subsection 1 by a guardian of the person, due regard must be given to the extent of the estate of the protected person. A guardian of the person is not required to incur expenses on behalf of the protected person except to the extent that the estate of the protected person is sufficient to reimburse the guardian.

3. A guardian has authority to obtain information from any government agency, medical provider, business, creditor, or third party who may have information pertaining to the health care or health insurance of the protected person.

4. A guardian may establish and change the residence of the protected person at any time within Nevada. The residence shall be the least restrictive, appropriate residence available that is necessary to meet the needs of the protected person and be financially feasible.

. . .

7. This section does not relieve a parent or other person of any duty required by law to provide for the care, support and maintenance of any dependent.

 

NRS 159.0487 – Types of Guardianships

1. Guardianship over the Person

The guardian is responsible for the well-being and care of the protected person. This is covered under NRS 159.079.

2. Guardianship over the Estate

The guardian is in charge of making financial decisions for the person. Court approval is needed to spend or sell the protected person’s assets even after the guardianship is granted.

3. Guardianship over the Person and the Estate

This type of guardian makes financial and well-being decisions for the protected person.

4. Guardian ad Litem – NRS 159.0455

A court-appointed guardian who works for the state. They have the goal of protecting the interests of the protected person (usually a child) no matter what. A guardian ad litem is only expected to provide the court with information regarding the child’s circumstances.

If you are interested in becoming a guardian ad litem, you can learn about Nevada’s program here.

5. Special Guardian – NRS 159.026

A guardian of someone who is of limited capacity. This includes (without limitation), a guardian who is appointed because a person of limited capacity has voluntarily petitioned for the appointment of the guardian and the court is capable to do so.

6. Co-Guardian – NRS 159.057

A guardian who watches two or more proposed protected persons. If they are both related to a common parent, there is no need to separate petitions, bonds, and other paperwork to be filed. A guardian must keep separate accounts for each protected person.

7. Temporary Guardians – NRS 159A.052 & 159.0525

A guardian who is temporarily appointed by the court for a protected minor who is in need of immediate medical attention or at risk of serious financial loss that cannot be obtained or prevented without a guardian.

NRS 159.0613Qualifications of a Guardian

Who is Qualified?

Ultimately, the Court will appoint as guardian the qualified person who is most suitable and is willing to serve.

The Court will give preference to a nominated person or relative to serve as a Guardian under a few factors:

  1. Whether the nominated person is a resident of Nevada.
  2. If the court finds the person suitable to serve as a guardian.
  3. If there are two people who could be nominated, the person listed in a will, trust, or other written instrument will be the first priority.

In determining whether someone could act as a suitable guardian, the court considers:

  • The overall ability of the nominated person to provide for the basic needs of the protected person
  • Whether the nominated person has engaged in habitual use of alcohol or controlled substances within six months (with exceptions).
  • The proposed guardian’s history with regards to the position of a guardian.
  • The physical capability of the proposed guardian.
  • Whether the nominated person has been convicted of a felony.

In determining the most suitable guardian, the court considers:

  • Nominations or requests made by the protected person.
  • Nominations or requests made by a relative of the protected person.
  • The blood relationship of the proposed guardian to the protected person.
  • Whether a Non-Resident may be the best fit for the protected person.

 

Who is Disqualified?

A person is not qualified to serve as a guardian who:

  • Is an incompetent.
  • Is a minor.
  • Has been convicted of a felony relating to the position of a guardian (such as abuse, neglect, or abandonment), unless the court finds that it is in the best interests of the ward to appoint the convicted felon as the guardian of the protected person.
  • Has been suspended for misconduct or disbarred from (1) the practice of law, (2) the practice of accounting, or (3) any other profession which involves the management or sale of money, investments, securities, or real property and which requires a license.
  • Is a (1) nonresident of Nevada and (2) is not a foreign guardian, has not associated with a co-guardian or a resident of Nevada or a banking corporation, and (3) is not a petitioner in the guardianship proceeding.

 

NRS 159.034Procedure in Guardianship Proceedings

To Whom Must a Petitioner Give Notice?

Unless otherwise specified by statute or by the court, a petitioner in a guardianship proceeding shall give notice of the time and place of the hearing on the petition to:

(a) Each interested person or the attorney of the interested person;
(b) Any person entitled to notice pursuant to this chapter or his attorney; and
(c) Any other person who has filed a request for notice in the guardianship proceedings.

 

How to Give Notice

The petitioner shall give notice not later than 10 days before the date set for the hearing:

(a) By mailing a copy of the notice by certified, registered or ordinary first-class mail to the residence, office or post office address of each person required to be notified pursuant to this section;
(b) By personal service; or
(c) In any other manner ordered by the court, upon a showing of good cause.

 

How to Give Notice to a Party with an Unknown Address and Identity

If the address or identity of a person required to be notified of a hearing on a petition pursuant to this section is not known and cannot be ascertained with reasonable diligence, notice must be given:

(a) By publishing a copy of the notice in a newspaper of general circulation in the county where the hearing is to be held at least once every 7 days for 21 consecutive days, the last publication of which must occur not later than 10 days before the date set for the hearing; or
(b) In any other manner ordered by the court, upon a showing of good cause.

 

Waiver of Notice

For good cause shown, the court may waive the requirement of giving notice.

  • A person entitled to notice pursuant to this section may waive such notice. Such a waiver must be in writing and filed with the court.
  • On or before the date set for the hearing, the petitioner shall file with the court proof of giving notice to each person entitled to notice pursuant to this section.

 

NRS 159.044Long-Term Guardianship Petitions

A long-term guardianship ends when the child turns age eighteen, the child dies, or a court order determining that guardianship is no longer needed.

Who can petition the court for a guardianship appointment?

Except as otherwise provided in NRS 127.045, a proposed ward, a governmental agency, a nonprofit corporation or any interested person may petition the court for the appointment of a guardian.

What must the petition include?

The Petition must include the following without limitation (to the extent the petitioner may reasonably know or obtain):

  • The name and address of the petitioner.
  • The name, date of birth and current address of the proposed protected person.
  • A copy of one of the following forms of identification of the proposed protected person which must be placed in the records relating to the guardianship proceeding and, except as otherwise provided in NRS 239.0115 or as otherwise required to carry out a specific statute, maintained in a confidential manner:
                     (1) A social security number;
                     (2) A taxpayer identification number;
                     (3) A valid driver’s license number;
                     (4) A valid identification card number; or
                     (5) A valid passport number.

The following information can be included in the petition, but if it is not, the information must be provided to the court no later than 120 days after the appointment of a guardian (with court-made exceptions):

  • Whether the proposed protected person is a resident or nonresident of Nevada.
  • The names and addresses of the spouse of the proposed protected person and the relatives of the proposed protected person who are within the second degree of consanguinity.
  • The name, date of birth, and current address of the proposed guardian. Professional guardians must include proof they are qualified to do so. Non-Professionals must show they are not receiving compensation.
  • A copy of one of the following forms of identification of the proposed guardian which must be placed in the records relating to the guardianship proceeding and, except as otherwise provided in NRS 239.0115 or as otherwise required to carry out a specific statute, maintained in a confidential manner:
  •                  (1) A social security number;
                     (2) A taxpayer identification number;
                     (3) A valid driver’s license number;
                     (4) A valid identification card number; or
                     (5) A valid passport number.
  •                  (6) A valid permanent resident card number; or
  •                  (7) A valid tribal ID card number
  • Whether the proposed guardian has ever been convicted of a felony; information regarding the crime committed.

 

A summary of the reasons why a guardian is needed and recent documentation demonstrating the need for a guardianship. The documentation may include, without limitation:

  • A certificate signed by a physician who is licensed to practice medicine in this State stating the need for a guardian;
  • A letter signed by any governmental agency in this State which conducts investigations stating the need for a guardian; or
  • A certificate signed by any other person whom the court finds qualified to execute a certificate stating the need for a guardian.
  • Whether the appointment of a general or a special guardian is sought.
  • A general description and the probable value of the property of the proposed ward and any income to which the proposed ward is or will be entitled, if the petition is for the appointment of a guardian of the estate or a special guardian. If any money is paid or is payable to the proposed ward by the United States through the Department of Veterans Affairs, the petition must so state.
  • The name and address of any person or care provider having the care, custody or control of the proposed ward.
  • The relationship, if any, of the petitioner to the proposed ward and the interest, if any, of the petitioner in the appointment.
  • Requests for any of the specific powers set forth in NRS 159.117 to 159.175, inclusive, necessary to enable the guardian to carry out the duties of the guardianship.
  • Whether the guardianship is sought as the result of an investigation of a report of abuse or neglect that is conducted pursuant to chapter 432B of NRS by an agency which provides child welfare services. As used in this paragraph, “agency which provides child welfare services” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS 432B.030.
  • Whether the proposed ward is a party to any pending criminal or civil litigation.
  • Whether the guardianship is sought for the purpose of initiating litigation.
  • Whether the proposed ward has executed a durable power of attorney for health care, a durable power of attorney for financial matters or a written nomination of guardian and, if so, who the named agents are for each document.

 

NRS 159A.205Short Term Guardianships

A short term guardianship is usually for a term of six months unless a shorter term is specified.

When Can a Parent Appoint a Guardian?

  • A parent, without the approval of a court, may appoint in writing a short-term guardianship for an unmarried minor child if the parent has legal custody of the minor child, unless otherwise provided in this section or in NRS 127.045.
  • The appointment of a short-term guardianship is effective for a minor who is 14 years of age or older only if the minor provides written consent to the guardianship.
  • The appointment of a short-term guardian does not affect the rights of the other parent of the minor.

A Parent Cannot Appoint a Short-Term Guardian for a Minor Child if the Child has Another Parent:

  • Whose parental rights have not been terminated;
  • Whose whereabouts are known; and
  • Who is willing and able to make and carry out daily child care decisions concerning the minor,
  • unless the other parent of the minor child provides written consent to the appointment.

The written instrument appointing a short-term guardian becomes effective immediately upon execution and must include, without limitation:

  • The date on which the guardian is appointed;
  • The name of the parent who appointed the guardian, the name of the minor child for whom the guardian is appointed and the name of the person who is appointed as the guardian; and
  • The signature of the parent and the guardian in the presence of a notary public acknowledging the appointment of the guardian. The parent and guardian are not required to sign and acknowledge the instrument in the presence of the other.

The short-term guardian appointed pursuant to this section serves as guardian of the minor for 6 months, unless the written instrument appointing the guardian specifies a shorter term or specifies that the guardianship is to terminate upon the happening of an event that occurs sooner than 6 months.

Only one written instrument appointing a short-term guardian for the minor child may be effective at any given time.

The appointment of a short-term guardian pursuant to this section:

  • May be terminated by an instrument in writing signed by either parent if that parent has not been deprived of the legal custody of the minor.
  • Is terminated by any order of a court of competent jurisdiction that appoints a guardian.

 

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Contact Us

If you have any questions or are seeking representation, please contact us at (702) 438-4100, or by using the form below:


How can we help?

Feel free to ask a question or simply leave a comment.


DISCLAIMER OF ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP: NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP is formed by virtue of the use of the information from willicklawgroup.com or the links from willicklawgroup.com to other servers. NO ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP is formed without the express written agreement with WILLICK LAW GROUP, 3591 E. Bonanza Rd., Suite 200, Las Vegas, Nevada 89110-2101. Sending E-mail does not constitute such an agreement.Do not send any confidential information or specific details about a case or pending case. Confidential information needs to be submitted to your attorney only after we have a written agreement.

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