Guardianship in Cary, North Carolina
Guardians for Minor Children
If an unfortunate accident or illness leave a minor child without a natural parent or guardian, a legal guardian will need to be appointed to care for the child and make legal and healthcare decisions on their behalf. This process takes place in the Clerk of Court in the county where the child resides. Guardianship can take a couple of different forms:
Legal Guardian of a Child: Also known as the "Guardian of the Person", this is a person (the "guardian") who is appointed to care for and make legal and medical decisions for a minor child (the "ward"). This designation does not include the authority to access or control the assets of the ward.
Guardian of the Estate of a Child: This is a person (the "guardian") who is appointed to conduct the economic affairs of a child ("ward"), i.e., controlling and investing money on their behalf. This would be most common where a child received a death benefit, inheritance, or personal injury settlement before attaining the age of 18.
Guardians for Disabled or Elderly Individuals
When a person loses the ability to conduct their own affairs, they may need a legal guardian to act on their behalf. In North Carolina, a person who qualified as incompetent may have a person petition to be their guardian and act on their behalf.
Elderly individuals who suffer from significant cognitive impairment will often need a "General Guardian" to conduct all of the legal and economic affairs. The process of obtaining general guardianship requires the showing of incompetence and a formal hearing before the Clerk of Court.
Children with developmental or intellectual disabilities who have attained the age of 18 may also need a General Guardian to conduct their affairs. General Guardianship is normally granted to the parent of the ward after a formal hearing proves the child to be incompetent.