How Much Does It Cost To Set Up A Guardianship?

Posted by: Adair M. Buckner

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.

In this blog, I will explain how to set up a guardianship for a loved one, as well as what you can expect when it comes to your financial investment.


Setting Up A Guardianship: The Basics

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.

Not everyone needs a guardianship. In the video below, I break down the most common situations in which a guardianship would be necessary.

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 the 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.

Attorneys' 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. The video below explains these costs in greater detail.

While a guardianship will likely cost you several thousand dollars, in many instances, it may be necessary to avoid heartache in the future for you and your loved one. If you are wondering how you can avoid this headache and lower your expenses, read my blog How Do I Avoid Needing A Guardianship.

Ready To Meet With An Attorney About Guardianship Or Guardianship Alternatives?

Contact Adair M. Buckner, Attorney At Law to schedule a free initial consultation* today. Whether you are looking to protect the best interests of a minor child or an incapacitated adult, Adair will work with you to determine the best solution for your family so you can feel confident about what the future holds.

Get A Free Consultation

*(The free consultation does not cover actual review of documents or giving legal advice on a specific situation.)

** This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, specific tax, legal, or accounting advice. We can only give specific advice upon consulting directly with you and reviewing your exact situation.


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