Wendell, NC -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/12/2014 -- Think you know all about estate planning law in North Carolina? Did you know that guardianship also falls under the estate planning legal umbrella, in addition to last will and testaments, durable power of attorneys, and living wills. Kirk Kirk Howell Cutler & Thomas, a Raleigh estate planning law firm, helps clients understand guardianship in North Carolina.
Guardianship is defined as a legal relationship in which a person or agency, the guardian, is appointed by the court to act on behalf of and make decisions for another person, the ward, on matters relating to the ward’s personal and financial affairs. This is usually due to the ward being unable to communicate or make decisions regarding their person or property, or they do not have the capacity to manage their personal or financial affairs.
While each guardianship case is different, Kirk Kirk Howell Cutler & Thomas says there are two common occurrences involving guardianship – an adult child needing to help their elderly parent make healthcare and residential decisions, and a parent needing to keep making decisions for their adult child who has special needs.
Guardianship proceedings all begin by filing a petition with the Special Proceedings Division in Superior Court, where the Clerk of Superior Court is the judge in guardianship proceedings. Once the petition is filed, a hearing is set and an attorney appointed, a Guardian Ad Litem, to represent the respondent.
Once the Clerk of Superior Court has heard from all interested parties, a decision has to be made on whether the respondent needs a guardian and who is the best person/agency to be the guardian. There are three different options: a guardian of the person, a guardian of the estate, or a general guardian. The level of incompetency and whether there is an estate or not helps determine which guardian is necessary.
Kirk Kirk Howell Cutler & Thomas has the experience needed to help North Carolina residents with their guardianship case, with one of their attorneys serving as a Guardian Ad Litem in Wake County since 2008. To learn more about general estate planning and guardianship, please visit http://www.kirkkirklaw.com/legal-resources/guardianship-in-north-carolina
About Kirk Kirk Howell Cutler & Thomas
Kirk Kirk Howell Cutler & Thomas is a Raleigh-based law firm specializing in family, criminal, and business law, in addition to eminent domain and land condemnation. Their attorneys are experienced and well-versed in North Carolina law, using their knowledge, integrity and commitment to protect the rights of their clients. To learn more about their legal practice or to request a case review, visit kirkkirklaw.com.