Guardianship Services

Home / Services

Of ferings

Guardian of

the Person

More

Guardian of the Person

_____

 

 

A Guardian of the Person is appointed by a court to manage the life decisions, including health matters, of a minor child or incapacitated adult.  A Guardian of the Person makes decisions to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the individual.  For example, an incapacitated person may not be able to remember if they have eaten or taken medication or they may no longer be able to cook for themselves. The Guardian of the Person may be authorized by the court to make decisions about where an incapacitated person will live, who will prepare meals, and to make decisions about consenting to medical and surgical procedures. The guardian of the person does not manage the finances, property or income of the individual (see Guardian of the Estate). The primary responsibility of the Guardian of the Person is to represent the rights and best interests of the minor child or incapacitated adult. They should honor the expressed wishes and preferences of the individual to the greatest extent possible.  If, however, those wishes conflict with what is in the best interest of the individual, they should follow their independent judgment to the extent necessary.  For example, the incapacitated person might strongly wish to remain living alone at home, but this might not be a safe living arrangement for them. In such a case, the guardian of the person has the responsibility to do what is in the best interest of the individual.

 

Guardian of the Estate

_____

 

 

A Guardian of the Estate is appointed by a court to handle all financial affairs of a minor child or incapacitated adult.  The appointed Guardian has a fiduciary duty to not mismanage the individual's money and/or other assets and to use them for the sole benefit of the individual. A Guardian of the Estate is responsible for managing the income, investments, real estate, and any other assets owned by the individual.  This means that the funds and other assets still belong to the individual and the Guardian of the Estate is merely acting on behalf of the minor child or an incapacitated adult.

 

Plenary Guardianship

_____

 

 

If the same person or entity is appointed Guardian of the Person and Guardian of the Estate, they are then known as the Plenary (full) Guardian of that individual.  After the court makes a finding of incapacity, by granting Plenary Guardianship, the court virtually removes all decision making power from the individual and gives the guardian the power to exercise all legal rights and duties on behalf of that individual.

 

Limited Guardianship

_____

 

 

A limited guardianship is a guardianship by which the guardian has only those powers and responsibilities specifically identified by the court in the court’s final decree. Whereas, a full-time guardian has all powers available to guardians under the law. In other words, a limited guardianship restricts the power of the guardian, allowing the individual to retain some legal rights and freedoms. A limited guardianship can work if the individual can still make some decisions for himself. For example, a person may be capable of living on his own and can manage his own money but isn't able to make his own medical decisions.

 

Emergency Guardianship

_____

 

 

The difference between an Emergency Guardian and permanent guardian (Limited or Plenary) is the time frame of the appointment.  Appointment of a guardian on an emergency basis is sometimes necessary because of an immediate medical condition of an alleged incapacitated person or some other time sensitive emergency. The court's final emergency order establishes the extent of the guardian's authority. An emergency guardian of the person is usually appointed for 72 hours or some other limited time period.  An emergency guardian of the estate is usually appointed for a period of no more than 30 days. The period of appointment may be extended by court order if needed before a full hearing on the individual’s capacity level can occur.

 

How We Can Help

_____

 

 

As a non-profit corporate fiduciary, once appointed to be the guardian of an individual who has been determined by a court to be incapacitated, River Communities Fiduciary Services, Inc.  (RCFS) is then responsible to make certain decisions on behalf of that individual.  Our primary goal is to ensure that individuals  under our guardianship are treated as valued members of the community and are served in the least restrictive and least institutional setting possible. Many of our clients can live independent lives in the community with supervision. While we prefer to provide support to clients in their own homes. When this is not possible, we have considerable experience in developing non-institutional residential settings. For clients in nursing homes we make regular visits to ensure that appropriate care is provided and advocate for less restrictive alternatives if and when possible.

 

The Legal Process to Establish a Guardianship

_____

 

 

1.  Preliminary Investigation

This investigation is used to demonstrate a need for guardianship during the Guardianship hearing. The investigative report should:

• address the individual’s disability and how it affects decision making;

• analyze evaluations of the individual’s mental and physical condition, education, adaptive behavior, and social ability;

• state and support an opinion about the need for guardianship; and

• recommend and support living arrangements and treatment plans.

 

2. Filing of the Petition

To start the court proceedings, a petition, or official request for a guardian, must be prepared, signed, and filed by an attorney for the person or entity that believes the individual needs a guardian. The petition is filed with the Court of Common Pleas, Orphans’ Court Division, in the county in which the alleged incapacitated individual lives.

 

3. Hearing Date and Citation

After the petition is filed with the Orphans’ Court, a hearing date is set. Then the Certificate/Affidavit of Service, Petition, and Citation with Notice to appear at the hearing (with date, time, and location) is sent to the individual in need of a guardianship. This Certificate also serves as the official notice to the individual that someone has petitioned for their guardianship. This information is also sent to any and all interested parties (such as relatives and/or the proposed guardian) so that they can be present if they wish.

 

4. The Hearing is Held

On the specified date and time, the hearing is held. At this time, evidence is presented about the need for guardianship. Typically an attorney represents the individual at the hearing. After all evidence has been presented, the judge confirms or denies the petition for guardianship.

 

If the petition is confirmed, it is next determined, through testimony under oath, that the proposed guardian is eligible and able to serve.  If the proposed guardian is accepted, the responsibilities and limits of the guardian are defined in the Final Order to ensure that the best interests of the individual are met.  The Clerk of Orphans’ Court will then file the guardianship and that will allow the guardian to make decisions on the individual’s behalf.  From the time of appointment, the guardian is then bound by the Final Order to serve best interests of the individual and accepts the responsibilities of guardianship.  Please keep in mind that the legal process for establishing a guardianship takes considerable time. Establishing guardianship is a complex process that will not be done within 2-3 weeks.

 

Even though decision-making capabilities of the individual have now been removed, their Constitutional rights are still protected and must be honored by the guardian.  The guardian is not held responsible for the actions of the protected individual. If the protected individual commits a crime, the guardian cannot be charged with the crime. However, the guardian is held responsible for his or her actions while acting as guardian for the individual.

 

 

Your One-Stop Resource. Call today

724-888-2833

Learn More About Us

Accessible services to all in need of support

724-888-2833

info@rcfstrusts.org

"Improving Lives  ̶  Protecting Futures"

"Improving Lives  ̶  Protecting Futures"

Our experienced and compassionate team will help you preserve and manage your assets or find the Human Services and supports of which you may not be aware. We have extensive experience in trust administration, social services and government benefits. Call for a free consultation.

Services

Support RCFS on Amazon:

Corporate Offices

Beaver County Office

396 4th Street, 2nd Floor

Beaver, PA 15009

Allegheny County Office

192 Ohio River Blvd.

Leetsdale, PA 15056

Improving Lives - Protecting Futures

© Copyright 2020  by River Communities Fiduciary Services, Inc. All rights reserved.

Support RCFS on Amazon:

As your one-stop resource, we work hand in hand with individuals with disabilities, their families, medical providers, attorneys and social workers. Let us help you find long-term security and support for you or your loved one’s assets and future.

As your one-stop resource, we work hand in hand with individuals with disabilities, their families, medical providers, attorneys and social workers. Let us help you find long-term security and support for you or your loved one’s assets and future.

Support RCFS on Amazon:

Your One-Stop Resource. Call today

As your one-stop resource, we work hand in hand with individuals with disabilities, their families, medical providers, attorneys and social workers. Let us help you find long-term security and support for you or your loved one’s assets and future.

As your one-stop resource, we work hand in hand with individuals with disabilities, their families, medical providers, attorneys and social workers. Let us help you find long-term security and support for you or your loved one’s assets and future.

Support RCFS on Amazon:

As your one-stop resource, we work hand in hand with individuals with disabilities, their families, medical providers, attorneys and social workers. Let us help you find long-term security and support for you or your loved one’s assets and future.

As your one-stop resource, we work hand in hand with individuals with disabilities, their families, medical providers, attorneys and social workers. Let us help you find long-term security and support for you or your loved one’s assets and future.

Support RCFS on Amazon:

As your one-stop resource, we work hand in hand with individuals with disabilities, their families, medical providers, attorneys and social workers. Let us help you find long-term security and support for you or your loved one’s assets and future.

As your one-stop resource, we work hand in hand with individuals with disabilities, their families, medical providers, attorneys and social workers. Let us help you find long-term security and support for you or your loved one’s assets and future.

Support RCFS on Amazon:

© Copyright 2020  by RCFS, Inc. All rights reserved.

As your one-stop resource, we work hand in hand with individuals with disabilities, their families, medical providers, attorneys and social workers. Let us help you find long-term security and support for you or your loved one’s assets and future.

As your one-stop resource, we work hand in hand with individuals with disabilities, their families, medical providers, attorneys and social workers. Let us help you find long-term security and support for you or your loved one’s assets and future.

Support RCFS on Amazon: