SCOTT C. SUZUKI, ATTORNEY AT LAW
We've moved to:
1013 Poha Lane
Honolulu, Hawaii 96826
(808) 983-3850

Guardianship

Scott C. Suzuki is a proud member of the Special Needs Alliance
and the National Vice President of Family Voices. 
Please visit their informative websites.  
www.specialneedsalliance.com 
www.familyvoices.org    

 
What is a "Guardian" and "Guardianship?

A Guardian is a person who has been appointed by the Court to make certain decisions and take certain actions on behalf of a person who has been adjudicated to be "incapcitated".  Guardianship is the name of the proceeding.  (An "incapacitated person" is "an individual who, for reasons other than being a minor, is unable to receive and evaluate information or make or communicate decisions to such an extent that the individual lacks the ability to meet essential requirements for physical health, safety, or self-care, even with appropriate and reasonably available technological assistance.")

When to Seek Guardianship

A person with a disability will sometimes need a guardian after he/she turns 18 if he/she is unable to "receive and evaluate information or make or communicate decisions to such an extent that the person lacks the ability to meet essential requirements for physical health, safety or self-care, even with appropriate and reasonably available technological assistance."  It is important that all alternatives to a guardianship have been explored.

What does a Guardian do?

A Guardian can make decisions concerning a Ward's support, care, education, health and welfare.  A Guardian can also apply for and receive money payable to the Ward.  Take custody of the Ward and establish a place of custodial dwelling.  Consent to medical and/or other care.  Consent to the marriage or divorce of the Ward.

What a Guardian can NOT do -

A Guardian can not borrow money, sell/convey property, make substantial investments; loan money, etc. for the Ward.  (These duties would fall under a Conservatorship).  It is important to note a Guardian can not do anything that is not in the best interest of the Ward or make medical decisions that are inconsistent with the Ward's individual instructions on healthcare directives, etc.  Standard limitations of fiduciary - no lying,
cheating, stealing, etc. 

Guardianships are not for everyone

You should seek alternatives to doing a Guardianship first.  Guardianship proceedings can be a long and expensive process.  Guardians are appointed for life (their own or the incapacitated person's).  There are many duties that a Guardian must do and once the Guardianship is granted, it limits the rights of the Ward (the person under Guardianship). 

Please feel free contact our office to see what options are best for your situation.


GUARDIANSHIP TERMS OFTEN USED

Petitioner - Person filing a petition requesting guardians.

Respondent - Person for whom guardianship is sought.

Interested Person - Other person entitled to notice of hearing.

Kokua Kanawai - Neutral attorney appointed by Court to investigate matters.

Ward - Person for whom a guardian has been appointed.