When loved ones are no longer able to care for themselves, or if a child is being neglected by a parent, family members or close friends can step in and request to become legal guardians.
Guardianships are available under the Oklahoma Guardianship and Conservatorship Act for:
1. Minors in Oklahoma
2. Incapacitated and partially incapacitated persons
3. Property in Oklahoma belonging to a minor or incapacitated person who does not live in Oklahoma, and,
4. Property coming into the control of a guardian who is subject to the laws of Oklahoma. (30 O.S. §1-112)
No person, whether a parent or nonparent, has any power as a guardian unless so appointed by the court. The Oklahoma Guardianship and Conservatorship Act shall not be construed to limit the parental rights of parents as the natural guardians of their children.
Guardianship entails overseeing the personal, medical, and financial affairs of an individual to ensure his or her overall welfare. Guardians of minors are responsible for clothing, feeding, medical needs, and tending to the child's daily needs, similar to what a parent would do.
If you are concerned about a child or a loved one who needs care, Mazaheri Law Firm's guardianship lawyers can offer you assistance with the guardianship process. We have helped grandparents, stepparents, relatives, and other family members or friends seek guardianship for their loved ones. Our Oklahoma City lawyers can walk you through each step while safeguarding your loved one's welfare.
Guardians can only be appointed by a court. The statutes governing guardianships may be found beginning at Title 30 of the Oklahoma Statues and an individual must file the necessary paperwork, pay court fees, obtain background checks of adults who will live in the same home as a child, and attend a court hearing. Guardianship can be granted over an ADULT when the ward is fully or partially incapacitated. An incapacitated person is one who is over the age of eighteen (18) and is unable to make competent decisions regarding their affairs. Additionally, it can be granted over a MINOR/CHILD when the ward is under the age of eighteen (18), and the court finds it is necessary because 1. Parents are unable to care for the child, 2. There is a kinship relative able to care for that child, or 3. In case of death of parents, the parents have nominated a guardian of their child in their will. Once you meet with a qualified guardianship attorney, they will help you determine:
General Guardian – A guardian of the person or of all the property of the ward within this state or of both person and property. (30 O.S. §1-109)
Limited Guardian – A person authorized by the court to exercise limited powers over the person of the ward, or over the property of the ward within the state or of both person and property. (30 O.S. §1-109)
Special Guardian – A guardian appointed for an emergency purpose, generally not to exceed thirty (30) days. (30 O.S. §3-115)
Do you qualify to be a guardian?
The statutes relating to guardianship set forth a list of persons who may serve as guardians and an order of priority for appointment by the court. (30 O.S. §3-104) A guardian or limited guardian is often a spouse, child or other relative of the potential ward. After the petition is filed, notice must be given to a statutorily set list of persons of the time and place of the hearing. The subject of the proceeding must always be given notice. A brief list of those who may be appointed as a guardian, with priority of appointment, are as follows:
1. the person(s) nominated by the subject of the guardianship; if the guardianship is of a minor child, then the child must be 14 years old or older to nominate his or her guardian;
2. the current guardian or limited guardian appointed by a court in another jurisdiction where the minor child, incapacitated or partially incapacitated person resides;
3. the person nominated by the will or other writing of a deceased parent, spouse or adult child that was serving as the guardian or limited guardian of the subject of the proceeding;
4. the spouse of the subject of the proceeding;
5. an adult child;
6. a parent;
7. a sibling;
8. a person, approved by the court, with whom the subject of the guardianship was living for more than six (6) months.
3. What the Guardianship Proceedings will be like
A guardianship proceeding will usually be filed in the district court of the county where the minor child, the incapacitated or the partially incapacitated person resides. If the proposed guardian is a member of the minor child’s or incapacitated person’s family, the guardianship proceeding may take place in the district court of the county where the proposed guardian lives. (30 O.S. §1-115)
In all cases, the first step in a guardianship is the filing of a written petition. Any person interested in the welfare of a person believed to be incapacitated or partially incapacitated may file a verified petition alleging the incapacitation and requesting the appointment of a guardian for the potential ward.
The procedures for the appointment of a guardian for a minor (a child under the age of eighteen (18) years) and the appointment of a guardian for an incapacitated person differ. A guardian may be appointed for a minor after a hearing on a petition filed with the district court. (30 O.S. §2-101) If the minor is at least fourteen (14) years of age, he or she will be given notice of the hearing. A minor of fourteen (14), or a minor upon reaching the age of fourteen (14), may nominate his or her own guardian, subject to the Court's approval. (30 O.S. §§2-103 and 2-104)
Special procedures may be available for the management of the estate of a ward that does not exceed Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000). If this applies in your situation, please consult a lawyer. (30 O.S. §2-116)
Becoming a guardian involves taking on tremendous responsibility. Guardianship decisions are weighed heavily by the court because of the potential for abuse or foul play if the wrong person was appointed as a guardian. There are also cases where the individual in question may dispute the need for guardianship. These types of cases can be complex and often require the assistance of an attorney. You may require counsel at a Guardianship Proceeding, a proceeding for the appointment of a guardian or for other orders regarding the condition, care or treatment of or the management of the financial resources of a ward. (30 O.S. §1-111).
A guardian or limited guardian of the person is responsible for the care and control of the ward. A guardian must perform in good faith and diligently any specific duties and powers assigned by the court. A Guardian shall:
1. become or remain sufficiently acquainted with the ward to maintain contact and to know capacities, limitations, needs, opportunities and health of the ward;
2. assure that the ward has a place to live which is least restrictive and most normal for his or her health and safety;
3.provide required consents or approvals as authorized by the court. (30 O.S. §3-118)
Legal counsel may be important to help you comply with all legal requirements of guardianship and ensure you are handling your duty legally and responsibly. Any guardian who willfully violates the duties or powers assigned by the court shall be liable for actual damages. (30 O.S. §4-901)
A guardian may be removed if the court finds that he/she is not performing the duties required by the court. The court may remove a guardian or terminate a guardianship if the court finds that the guardianship is no longer necessary. The court may remove a guardian or terminate a guardianship at the request of the guardian. In all cases, in order for the guardianship to end, the court must order it to be terminated
Every person eighteen (18) or older who is of sound mind and not acting under duress, menace, fraud or undue influence may nominate a guardian. A person nominated as guardian shall be given preference in the appointment of a guardian. (30 O.S. §3-104) However, there is no guarantee, and if guardianship is in dispute, a Judge will determine final guardianship. A Guardianship attorney can assist you in making sure your wishes are followed when you are away.
If your loved one is in need of care, Mazaheri Law Firm and our dedicated attorneys can provide compassionate legal support through this difficult time. We can discuss whether guardianship is right for your situation or whether you should pursue an adoption of a minor instead. We're here for you, no matter what happens or how hard it gets.
To get started, call (405) 414-2222
“Everything's great! She is a great attorney and now I have my citizenship!”
“La oficina no estaba en un lugar conveniente pero mis llamadas fueron devueltas rapidamente y ellos me dieron reportes de mi caso regularmente. La abogada se precoupo por mi caso durante la representacion. Me siento que la firma es mejor que otros porque es bilingue y todos los abogados son muy amables." I am very satisfied with the staff at the Mazaheri Law Firm. I could meet with the attorney when I needed to and could always get an answer if I had a question on my immigration case. I'd refer her if I needed a lawyer again.”
“Thank you for your time and your prompt attention to this case.”
“I'd call on this firm again if I needed help. I found her in the phone book and felt like her and the staff took care of me and my case.”
“She is always available when you call with a question or she will call you back in good time. She is very easy to talk to and makes you feel very comfortable. If in the future I need an attorney I will contact her.”
“My small business needed a contract fast. In a process that usually takes weeks, Mazaheri Law Firm went to work that day. Faster than promised, we had a contract in our hands and a happy client for our business. Our attorney got us the terms we wanted and made us feel confident and assured as we moved into a new business venture. I recommend Mazaheri Law Firm without reservation. They're legal counsel that moves as fast as my business, at a very reasonable rate.”
“Brice was awesome! He was very professional and knowledgeable. What was most important was the respect from the people, outside of the firm, that we came in contact with. Thank you!!”
“I'm very satisfied. Katherine listened to me and seemed to really care about me and my case. She got me results and I have referred someone else to her. The Mazaheri Law Firm is by far the best experience I've had with any law office. Great job!”
“I was very pleased with the representation provided by Ann Zachariah and Mazaheri Law Firm. Ann is a competent and caring attorney.”
“I absolutely felt like the attorney cared about me and my case. My attorney was a dream. She is an asset to the firm. She is kind, considerate, and competent.”
“After finding the firm in the phone book, we were greeted courteously and explained all the issues in handling our case at the initial consult. We felt as though the attorney cared about our case and we would refer her in the future.”
“I've referred other people to Katherine. The office was really convenient to where I live in Edmond. She listens and explained my case to me and all possible scenarios that could come from it.”
“Victory! Thank you...”
“Thank you for all your help with this, we do appreciate it.”
“Cases are taken very well. I feel that the office staff and attorney took my case very well.”
“I was referred to Katherine through the Oklahoma Lawyers for Heroes program. I expected to get second class service since we weren't paying. I was completely blown away by the way we were treated. I could have never imagined feeling so comfortable and welcomed. Katherine answered every call almost immediately and my emails were also answered within the hour! She worked expeditiously to get our program resolved before my husband was called away for duty. I could never thank her and her team enough for what they did for my family.”
“Loved you guys, you were a blessing to our family. Thank you so much for all you've done!”
“Thank you in advance for all you have done for me in this case. I will be eternally grateful for all the effort and dedication you put into my case.”
“We were referred to Katherine by a family friend and pleased with her as an attorney. She seemed to care about our case and gave us regular reports on how things were going. We would call on her if we needed more help in the future.”
“I truly appreciate the work being done on my behalf by your firm. I am especially grateful for having Ray Tompkins on my side. Last week I wrote him because I had concerns about my case...Ray really came through...I feel very confident and know that we're in the best of hands.”
“I was 100% satisfied with the services I received at the firm. Everything was great and I have no complaints.”
“Back when I dealt with Katherine she had not much staff, but my calls were returned and she always let me know where my case was. I'd definitely call on her if I need help again.”
“Overall, I was very satisfied with the legal services that I received and I would call the firm again if I needed legal representation.”
“I appreciated Ann's sensitivity and patience as she represented me. I have nothing but gratitude. It was a bad situation made bearable by someone who simply cared. I doubt I will ever forget that!”
“She is good. Very magnificent. I am very satisfied with Katherine's services. She seems to have a good future. My phone calls were returned quickly and the assistants were very pleasant. The attorneys explained what the firm would do for me and I appreciate that. I will recommend her to friends in need of an attorney in the future.”
“I was very pleased with the representation I received. Ann was helpful and professional at all times.”
“Thank you for everything. I’m so happy it’s over and God is good.”
“When I began my case I was so distraught and I looked in the yellow pages and researched the website and felt comfortable with contacting the Mazaheri Law Firm. The lawyer was very upfront and made me feel so comfortable, I've referred other people already. I appreciated her honesty and that nothing was sugarcoated. I also appreciate the firm returning my calls promptly.”
“Ann was wonderful. She made us feel like we were important to her and we always felt like she was totally on top of things. She was extremely thorough in handling our case.”
“Can't comment on suggestions because they do not need any. Great work”
“Una de las cosas principals para nosotros como hispanos es que si tuvieran algunas personas que hablen el español seria de bastante ayuda para nosotros y ustedes como para su despacho o oficinas.”
“Que es una abogada que inspira confianza en su forma de explicar el caso. Se siente seguridad total. Es segura para ganar cualquier caso.”
“I found out about this firm on a billboard. I liked the staff and they made me feel comfortable and spoke Spanish. Katherine was available when I needed her”
“Thanks Brice. You are my ROCK!!! P.S. I have already referred 2 people to your firm and will continue to do so!”
“Ann was Awesome! She answered all of our questions directly and never left us feeling in the dark. I would feel comfortable utilizing her services or recommending her to any family member or friend! She is top notch!”
“The lawyer handling my case explained the progress of my case and she was available when I needed to meet with her. I feel like she cared about my case and overall, I am satisfied from the legal services I have received.”
“I found the Mazaheri Law Firm through a relative of the attorney's family. I felt working with this firm was marvelous. My attorney was very polite and comforting. She was a pleasure.”
“Law firm was great and [my case] handled very professionally. They told me exactly what to expect and she didn't beat around the bush about it. She was very honest and compassionate.”
“I found Katherine from the Yellow Pages. She was well worth what I paid for her services. I am very satisfied how well my case turned out and will continue to use her from my legal services.”
“I was well satisfied with the services. Stated he was greeted courteously, explained the progress of his case, felt his attorney cared about him and his case, and charged fairly for for the services provided.”
“The lawyer took on the load of handling my case so I didn't have to. She told me what I needed to know and what she could do before we even got started. Overall, I had a good experience.”
“Ann was professional and she explained everything to us, everything, and how long it will take. I will certainly recommend her and your firm to my friends. You have my business. The attorney is honest and keeps me updated.”