Court Visitors and Guardianship

There are many ways we can make an effort to help protect the vulnerable members of our communities.  Volunteering at homeless shelters, helping with underprivileged youth, or Judge with gaveleven just bringing a meal to your sick friend are all ways to make sure that members of your community get the help that they need.  In some situations, when a close friend or family member is no longer able to take care of him or herself it may be time to seek a guardianship.  A guardian is a person who is appointed by the court to make personal decisions for the person who requires assistance and protection.  These personal decisions include medical decisions, where to live, what type of training the person or education needs to receive, or even where the person should live.  The person who receives the protection is called a “ward.”  A court will only appoint a guardian for a ward if that potential ward no longer has the capacity or sufficient understanding to continue to make reasonable and responsible decisions concerning his or her daily medical care, nutrition, and shelter.  There are lots of procedural steps required and people involved in the process of getting appointed as a guardian.  The court visitor is one of these essential people involved in the process.

A court visitor is a legal term for a particular person who is appointed by the judge in a guardianship action.  The court visitor will be a person with a background in social work, the legal field, or psychology.  The first job for the court visitor is to personally serve the petition for guardianship on the proposed ward.  After the court visitor serves the papers on the proposed ward, he or she will then have a meeting with the ward.  The court visitor is responsible for asking questions and making observations about the proposed ward.  He or she will then complete a report to submit to the judge.  In that report, the visitor will make a recommendation to the judge as to whether a guardianship is necessary and appropriate in this particular case.  The report made by the visitor will be provided not only to the judge, but a copy will also be given to the attorneys involved in the case.

If you are involved or potentially involved in a guardianship case, you need an experienced attorney on your side. Contact us today at 651-371-9117 to talk about the process and what we can do to help you.