Alabama Guardianship Law

A brief guide to Alabama guardianship

When an adult is mentally incapable of taking care of themselves or a minor child requires care, the court system may appoint someone to look after their physical health and mental welfare. Obtaining these kind of Alabama guardianships is not a process to be undertaken lightly, since it requires you to obtain many different kinds of responsibilities.

It is important to distinguish between a custodian and a guardian. While the former looks after someone's financial resources, Alabama guardianship requires you merely to look after someone's immediate needs. 

The rules for who may look after an adult or a child or different. In cases where Alabama guardianships are being appointed for care of a minor child, eligible parties can be anyone who is best capable of looking after the minor. A parent who is not capable of looking after their child still has priority when expressing their wishes on this matter.

Alabama guardianships for a mentally incapacitated adult is awarded in the following order of preference:

• To a person appointed to perform this task in a living will

• The person's spouse

• A person's adult child

• A person's parents or the parents' nominee

• A relative the person has lived with for at least 6 months prior to their incapacitation

• The person's preference

Only the courts can validate Alabama guardianships. This process will require you to navigate the court system. Obtaining an Alabama guardianship begins when a person files a petition with the court in their area. A medical professional will examine the person who is need of care and issue a report detailing all of their problems and needs for care. This report will be reviewed by a judge before a hearing.

During any hearing regarding being appointed to Alabama guardianships, you have the right to request a jury. If your efforts are successful, a judge will issue several documents stating your right to make decisions on behalf of your ward. Keep in mind that this will involve you to work closely with anyone who has been appointed as a conservator. Someone who already has the responsibility of an Alabama guardianship may also take on this role if they wish and the courts approve.

When you take on this task, you have the right to be aware of the financial resources of your ward. Within 90 years of taking on the role of Alabama guardianship, you should receive an inventory of all of a ward's property. At regular intervals, you will be required to report to the court on the mental and physical health of your ward. 

Taking on Alabama guardianships is a major responsibility that requires you to work closely with the ward. If the person is mentally incapacitated, you will need to be patient and attentive. A ward who is a minor child must be someone you are on good terms with. Much as in divorce cases, the court's primary interest when deciding on an Alabama guardianship is the child's best interest.

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