A guardianship may become necessary when a person over age 18 is unable to make health, life and financial decisions and the person does not have the ability to sign a Power of Attorney document (POA), or an effective POA is not in place.
A family member or friend, or an entity (like Washington State or a hospital) can file an action in the county court where the respondent, or the “alleged incapacitated person” resides, requesting that the court appoint a named person as the full or limited guardian over the person (to manage health and life decisions) and/or the conservator of the estate (to manage financial decisions). Once filed, the court will appoint an investigator to meet with all of the parties and to present an objective recommendation to the court at a hearing.
Kristina Mattson practices in Spokane County. Each county in Washington State has different procedures and it is generally best to work with an attorney that practices in the county where the respondent resides.
The guardianship and conservatorship process includes a number of matters that require presenting papers to a judge for approval, including: the petition for guardianship/conservatorship, contesting a petition, transfer of guardianship/conservatorship from another state, filing periodic guardianship reports, and the sale of the incapacitated person's property.
Kristina Mattson Law can assist with all facets of guardianship/conservatorship representation, including serving as a Court Visitor/Guardian ad Litem.