Oklahoma has certain guardianship requirements for those seeking a guardianship of another person. There are some unfortunate situations in life that might result in a person becoming unable to make their own decisions. Legally, this is known as being incapacitated. When someone becomes incapacitated and cannot handle their affairs, they can have a guardian appointed to them who will step in and manage their finances, medical decisions, and other important life matters.
When thinking about estate planning, it helps to preplan for whom to assign as your guardian if you become incapacitated later and if they meet all the guardianship requirements in Oklahoma. This will preserve your right to have some say over who will help you with your finances and other matters. Otherwise, once you are already deemed incapacitated, there will have to be guardianship proceedings to decide who will be responsible for your affairs.
What Is A Guardianship Proceeding In Oklahoma?
In Oklahoma, guardianship occurs when a court chooses someone to make decisions for another person. The person who has a guardian appointed to watch over them is called a ward. The person appointed to watch over them is the guardian.
A guardian can be sought for adults or children. They can also be sought by agreement or on the basis of an emergency. If a guardian is made responsible for an adult, that adult must be considered incapacitated and unable to take care of himself. If the guardianship is over a child the Childs parents are deemed temporarily unable to care for their minor children.
What Are The Responsibilities Of A Guardian?
Guardianship requirements in Oklahoma require the ability to manage finances, medical treatment, and other personal matters for the incapacitated person. The guardian also must appear in court on behalf of the incapacitated person as needed. Additionally, a guardian must sign all paperwork and handle all property transfers. A signature of an incapacitated person is considered meaningless.
Different guardians can be assigned to handle different matters for an incapacitated person. A court can appoint a guardian of the person and guardianship over the person’s property.
For example, a judge can order one guardian to oversee personal matters like where the incapacitated person should live and what medical decisions are in their best interest. A property guardian would handle financial decisions like paying bills.
What Prevents You From Serving As A Guardian?
Not everyone can serve guardianship duty in Oklahoma. A court might determine that you cannot serve as a guardian if you, or any adult member of your household, have a criminal conviction, protective order, or pending criminal charge. Additionally, a judge may rule you cannot serve as a guardian if:
- You are insolvent (you cannot pay your debts)
- You have declared bankruptcy within the past five years
- You have a conflict of interest
- You are not a United States citizen
These factors do not automatically prevent you from guardianship. However, a judge will have to investigate your circumstance further to determine if you can suitably serve as a guardian.
Can A Felony Exclude You From Serving As A Guardian?
Having a felony on your record in Oklahoma doesn’t necessarily mean you won’t be able to be a guardian. If you have been convicted of a felony, a judge will need more information regarding your case. After evaluating the specific facts of your case, a judge will rule on whether you are allowed to serve as a guardian. The length of time that’s elapsed since discharging the felony is important in many instances.
Tulsa Estate Planning and Guardianship
Estate planning matters like creating a will and other documents can be among the most significant decisions you will have to make in life. There are unique concerns presented in establishing estate plans. An experienced Oklahoma estate planning attorney will be able to support you in determining what is best for you and your loved ones.
There are some unfortunate situations in life that might result in a person becoming unable to make their own decisions. Legally, this is known as being incapacitated. When someone becomes incapacitated and cannot handle their affairs, they can have a guardian appointed to them who will step in and manage their finances, medical decisions, and other important life matters. For more information or to get a free consultation with one of our Tulsa guardianship attorneys call 918.743.2233 or click here to ask a legal question.