Have you ever asked yourself, can you file for guardianship without a lawyer? If so, then you are likely trying to help care for a loved one. This may be a child who cannot take care of themselves, or even a grandchild. Perhaps you want to care for an aging aunt, uncle, or parent and want guardianship so you can help make their decisions with them. Either way, this is a common question. Thankfully, the answer is yes, but it is not that simple. While you do have the right to file for guardianship without a lawyer, it is not advised for many different reasons.
Can You File for Guardianship Without a Lawyer or Is One Necessary?
When asking, can you file for guardianship without a lawyer, it is important to know your rights. This question can be asked a few different ways. So, can you file for guardianship without a lawyer? Yes, you can, but should you? That may be a different answer. The court says you have the right to make that filing and do all of the legwork that accompanies it. However, that does not mean you will get everything right as you go. If you were to make a mistake and get the wrong paperwork, you may not get the ruling you hoped for.
It is not necessary to go into court with a guardianship lawyer by your side. Nor is it necessary to have a lawyerâ€™s signature on the paperwork you need to file with the court. However, you are taking a lot of responsibility on yourself by doing it on your own. There are many errands that need to be run while trying to get guardianship set up. It is also a very complicated legal process in many ways. If you understand this and have the time to do it all on your own, then you can legally do it.
Why It Is Advisable to Have a Lawyer When You File for Guardianship
The truth is, getting guardianship over someone is very complicated. There are many people who may get involved before the entire process is over. Some people may think they deserve guardianship over you. Other people may believe your home or lifestyle does not pose the best situation for the person. You need to understand that even if you start the process as completely uncontested, it may not stay that way.
There are many types of guardianship, which can make the process a bit more difficult. Sometimes you have an unexpected situation come up where you need to file for guardianship. Other times, you plan it out before the process actually begins. Some guardianships are fully consensual. Others you have to fight your way through court to try and get. It all depends on the situation and who gets involved.
Ways a Lawyer Can Help You When You File for Guardianship
You may have asked yourself, can you file for guardianship without a lawyer, because you were worried about the cost. This is common. However, you do not need to fear the cost of the process. You have options when it comes to hiring a guardianship lawyer. One option is doing everything completely on your own. This means you go gather all of the paperwork, file all of the necessary documents, and speak for yourself in court. That is your legal right. However, it can also be a bit intimidating as you go.
Another option is getting help on a partial basis. You can reach out to an attorney and have help filing for guardianship on a part-time basis. What they will do is walk you through the process, answer your questions, and help direct you where to go. What they will not do is file anything with the court itself, or show up in court on your behalf. This is more to help guide you down the right path, but the actual steps you take are your own. Typically, this is much less expensive than hiring an attorney to do it all because you are taking the responsibility on yourself.
The best option in most cases is hiring an attorney to do the legwork for you. They know how to get papers you may struggle to get. They also know where to go and what to file. It takes them far less time to get the process done than it would you. Plus, they also typically have a working relationship with the judge. This makes getting any continuances or motions passed a bit easier than it might be if you were to do it on your own.