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Petitioning for guardianship and making modifications

On Behalf of | Feb 2, 2024 | Family Law

Under Mississippi law, a guardian is a person who has legal authority and responsibility for another person, called a ward. The ward may be incapacitated or otherwise unable to make decisions for themselves. This may be because of mental illness, cognitive impairments or other conditions that affect reasoning.

A guardianship is intended to protect the ward’s best interests and there is a process you can follow to ask the court to put this in place for your loved one.

Guardianship process

The first step in the guardianship process is to file a petition in the court where the proposed ward lives. The petition should include information about the proposed ward, why the petitioner is requesting guardianship and what powers the guardian should have.

You may be required to give notice to interested parties, including the proposed ward. The court may order a medical evaluation for the proposed ward to determine whether they are incapacitated.

The court will review the evidence and decide whether to order the guardianship. If it does, the order will outline the guardian’s specific powers and responsibilities. The guardian will likely be required to check in with the court periodically.

Modification or termination

Once the guardianship is in place, it may need to be modified. These situations may include if the ward’s condition improves and the guardianship is no longer necessary, if the guardian is no longer able to fulfil their duties, or if the guardian is not acting in the ward’s best interest.

The court must review the circumstances and decide whether to change or terminate the guardianship.