Urged by a study provided by the Nevada Supreme Court’s Commission to Study the Administration of Guardianship in Nevada’s Courts, the 2017 Nevada State Legislature passed extensive legislation to ensure that mentally or physically incapacitated people are cared for and protected. This can be partial, known in Nevada as Guardianship over the estate, or full Guardianship of the person and estate. For full Guardianship of the person and estate, a judge transfers the individual’s civil rights — including the right to sign contracts, make medical decisions, and choose with whom to associate and where to live — to the Guardian.
An estimated 1.3 million adults are under guardianship in this country, and according to AARP, perhaps 85 percent of them are over 65, with countless adult children over the age of 18. Adult children with special needs also need guardianship. This is very important for parents to understand, as when a child turns 18, they have all the rights of an adult, though many are not capable of making their own medical, financial and personal decisions. The most common arrangement is for the judge to appoint a family member, who may draw on the person’s estate to cover approved expenses. If there is no available or appropriate family member, a professional or company may be appointed. With court approval the professional can charge the estate to handle the client’s affairs and to pay for necessary services. Public guardians are also available.
Because of the new Nevada State Legislation regarding guardianship, in Clark County, every proposed protected person’s case is referred to Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada (LACSN). LACSN then determines whether the case stays in house or is sent to one of their contracted attorneys. LACSN is responsible for paying the attorney. Neither the protected person nor the guardian pays the attorney fees for the protected person. The appointed attorney is to ensure that the rights of the protected person are protected and that the protected person has a voice in court. I am privileged to be working with LACSN as a contracted attorney for the protected person and I take private clients who wish to become guardians of their loved ones.
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