I want to know how to obtain legal guardianship or power of attorney. My daughter is 23 and just went into a group home. I now need to obtain power of attorney or legal guardianship. she is mentally handicap, blind, and has ceberal palsy since birth. I dont know where to start. I do not have much money but could pay monthy payments. any help would be appreciated deeply. thank you
2 Answers from Attorneys
Thank you for your inquiry. From the information you provided, it sounds as though a guardianship is the way to go. If your daughter has assets, a conservatorship might also be necessary. A power of attorney won't work, because your daughter would need to have the requisite mental capacity to execute the document.
The forms for a guardianship are available online at www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov; however, the process and paperwork are somewhat complex, and at least one court appearance would be required.
The court charges a filing fee to file the guardianship ($166). The largest cost, however, is the mandatory court investigation ($325).
The fees that I mentioned above must all be paid in advance (since the court requires them at the time of filing). There are also smaller fees for certified documents, publication of notice of the hearing, and the cost of a process server. It will also be necessary to have an examination and report by your daughter's physician, and there may be an additional cost for that.
The legal fees vary, depending on whether there are any complicating circumstances (your case seems straightforward). I am willing to arrange and accept a monthly payment plan for the legal fees as long as the amounts and dates of the payments are clearly spelled out in advance.
I am located in Chandler (same zip code as you), so I recommend that we schedule a time to meet or speak to discuss the next step.
Monica H. Donaldson, Esq.
Ms. Donaldson is completely right in her response. In addition, I would suggest you may also want to consider applying for a deferral/waiver of court fees. This is a separate application and is based on need; however, if either you or your daughter receive any type of government assistance you generally qualify.
I would be happy to discuss the issues more in-depth with you by phone or in-person. Though I have provided you with the major points, there is too much to cover via e-mail. I offer a free, no-obligation ½ hour consultation (telephonic or in-office) if you would like to discuss the matter in more detail. In addition, I would be happy to arrange a mutually suitable payment plan.
You can call me directly to discuss the specifics of your case, or contact my legal assistant, Brenda, (602) 255-0333, to schedule a free ½ hour in-office consultation. I wish you the best and look forward to talking with you.
/s/ Otilia M. Díaz, 637 North 3rd Avenue, Suite 8, Phoenix, AZ 85003, (602) 908-2133, (602) 253-4506 Fax, e-mail: [email protected]