One of the most valuable and important aspects of estate planning is naming a guardian for your minor child. A guardian is someone who will care for your child if you are unable to do so—whether because you have become incapacitated or have died—before your child turns 18. It is also possible to establish guardianship for a special needs child or adult to ensure that they are cared for after you are gone. If you do not name a guardian for your child or loved one and you die unexpectedly, the court will appoint a guardian for the individual.
The Fairfax guardianship attorneys at DiPietro Law Group, PLLC can help you choose and establish legal guardianship for a child or loved one. We can also help you appoint a guardian to care for you if you are incapacitated or otherwise unable to do so on your own. Additionally, we assist individuals who are seeking to establish guardianship over a child or special needs adult who does not already have a guardian.
Give us a call or contact us online to learn more about how our firm can help you.
How to Obtain Guardianship in Virginia
Like most states, Virginia automatically assumes guardianship of a child to the parents. If the parents are not alive or are unable to care for the child, guardianship may be granted to a guardian named in the parent’s will or appointed by the court. The same general process is used to establish guardianship of an incapacitated or disabled adult.
If you wish to obtain guardianship of a child or special needs adult in Virginia, there are several steps and processes you must follow. It is very important that you correctly handle each step of the process in order to better your chance of successfully obtaining legal guardianship.
To secure guardianship of another individual, you must:
- Gather any relevant information, such as court orders, proof of the individual’s current living situation, and/or the parent’s will
- Fill out a court petition, supplemental information forms, and Incapacitated Adult Information form (if you are attempting to obtain guardianship of an incapacitated adult)
- Schedule a meeting with the court clerk to submit all relevant paperwork and any supporting documents (as needed)
- Attend additional hearings regarding your wishes to obtain guardianship, if needed (typically only required if other family members are also fighting to obtain guardianship)
Our firm can help you with these and other necessary steps in the guardianship process. We understand that this can be an incredibly complex and emotionally charged process. Because of this, our team offers compassionate, personalized legal services tailored to your goals.
Appointing a Guardian in Virginia
If you want to make sure that your child and other family members do not have to go through a lengthy process to secure guardianship in the event that you die, it is crucial that you appoint a guardian.
DiPietro Law Group, PLLC can help you appoint a guardian for any of the following:
- Any minor children under the age of 18
- A special needs family member, including a child or spouse
- Yourself, in the event that you become incapacitated
Our Fairfax guardianship attorneys are here to answer your questions and guide you through the process. We can help you draft solid and validate solid legal documentation that clearly designates guardianship according to your wishes.
Need help establishing guardianship for a child or special needs family member? Contact our firm online or by phone to schedule a consultation.