Nov. 6, 2013 —
Much the same as with mental health issues, the process begins with a concerned individual petitioning the county attorney to begin the process of determining if guardianship is warranted.
Once a petition is filed, a multidisciplinary team consisting of a physician, a social worker and a licensed psychologist then evaluate the individual in question in order to determine if he or she is truly in need of a guardian.
State law then demands that a closed jury trial be held to consider all of the evidence. The burden of proof then rests on the county attorney to prove the disability or partial disability of the individual.
If disability is proven, the court considers the following factors in appointing a guardian: kinship to the person, education and business experience and capability to handle financial affairs.
“There's no hard and fast rule that says the person filing the petition has to be named the guardian. If they don't want the responsibility, the court can assign guardianship elsewhere,” said Carter County Attorney Patrick Flannery.
Those who are unsure which process to undertake should contact Flannery’s office at (606) 474-2341 for more information.
Joe Lewis can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 286-4201.