I frequently get calls about setting up a guardianship for a person who cannot manage their own affairs. Unfortunately, the people calling have no idea the expense involved in setting up a guardianship. Guardianships are complicated and time consuming. To put it simply, guardianships are very expensive. There are many steps involved in establishing a guardianship and a great deal of court involvement.
There are two types of guardianship:
- For the person - actual physical and medical care for the person
- For the estate - taking care of all the business affairs of the person
Most guardianships will be for both the person and the estate. It is possible, however, for an adult with some disabilities to be able to manage their own personal care, and thus not need a guardian of the person, but still need a guardian of the estate to help them manage their business matters.
When guardianship of the estate is involved, the procedure is more expensive because the guardian will have to qualify for and pay an insurance company for a bond to assure their performance according to law. That amount will depend on the size of the person’s estate.
Guardianship of a minor child starts out slightly less expensive than a guardianship of an adult who is incompetent because a medical exam is not required for the minor child. A medical exam is required for a guardianship of an incapacitated adult before the application for guardianship can even be filed. The cost of the exam depends on the doctor's rates.
Attorney’s fees for opening any guardianship can range from a minimum of $1,500 to an average of $3,500. Court costs, which include filing fees, service fees, and fees for letters of guardianship, can also quickly reach in excess of $1,000. Also, every guardianship requires that an attorney ad litem be appointed by the court to protect the interests of the ward. That fee can range from $350 to several thousand dollars depending on the amount of work the ad litem is required to do.
Guardianships are extremely labor intensive for attorneys and involve substantial court fees.
In short, you won’t get off opening a guardianship for less than several thousand dollars.
Wondering how you can avoid this headache and expense? Read my blog How Do I Avoid Needing A Guardianship.
Ready To Meet With An Attorney About A Guardianship or Guardianship Alternatives?
Contact Adair M. Buckner, Attorney At Law to schedule a free initial consultation* today.
*(The free consultation does not cover actual review of documents or giving legal advice on a specific situation.)