Guardianship in Oklahoma
A guardian is person who, when appointed by a Court, is given legal authority to care for the person and the estate (property) of another person, called a ward.
A guardianship can be general, limited and/or special, and can be for minor children, partially incapacitated adults, and incapacitated adults. In each case, a guardian is appointed by the Court and has numerous responsibilities and duties, both to the ward and to the Court.
A general guardian will normally handle all aspects for both the person as well as the property of the ward, while a limited guardian can only exercise specific powers granted by the Court, and a special guardian is generally appointed for a temporary period of time, in emergency situations.
A guardian becomes completely responsible for the care and control of the ward and is obligated to perform his or her duties diligently and in good faith, always acting on behalf of the ward and within the guidelines set out by Oklahoma law and by the Court.
A guardianship petition is usually filed in the district court of the county in Oklahoma where the ward resides. It can also be filed in the county where the proposed guardian resides if they are a member of the proposed ward’s family. If the ward is a minor child, age fourteen (14) or above, the ward may nominate a guardian of their choosing to the Court for approval.
There are a number of specific duties and obligations of the guardian which must be performed, including but not limited to, posting of a bond (which may be waived by the Court, when appropriate), filing annual reports with the Court, and creating and adhering to plans for the care and treatment of the ward and their property. These duties and responsibilities can be overwhelming. For general information about serving as a guardian, please review the Handbook for Guardians, prepared by the Administrative Office of the Courts, which can be found HERE. This handbook is a very useful guide for anyone who finds themselves serving as someone’s guardian.
In addition, an experienced attorney from The Crosthwait Law Firm are very familiar with the specific needs and requirements of an Oklahoma guardianship proceeding and is available to assist you throughout the entire process.
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