Hawaii Guardianship Honolulu Guardianship Attorney
A guardianship is a legal proceeding where a court appoints someone to protect the interests of an individual (the "proposed protected person") who may not be able to act for him or herself by reason of being 1) a minor (defined as an unempancipated individual who is under eighteen years old) or 2) an incapacitated person. In Hawaii, guardianships are governed by Article V of Section 560 of the Hawaii Revised Statutes. Family Court has exclusive jurisdiction over guardianships for minors and concurrent jurisdiction with Probate Court over guardianships for incapacitated persons.
Guardianship for minor in Hawaii. A minor may need a guardian when the minor's parents are unable or unwilling to provide the necessary care and support. A parent may nominate a person to serve as guardian via a Will or other signed writing, but the court can appoint someone other than the testamentary nominee since it will always appoint the person it feels will be in the best interests of the minor. Alternatively, the minor or a person interested in the welfare of the minor may petition the court for appointment of a guardian. The guardian generally has the powers and duties of a parent and the guardianship ends upon the court's order or the minor's death, adoption, emancipation or reaching the age of majority.
Guardianship for incapacitated person in Hawaii. For a guardian to be appointed for an incapacitated person, the proposed protected person must be found to be incapacitated to the extent that the person is unable to receive and evaluate information or make or communicate decisions necessary to maintain his or her own health, safety, welfare and self-care. To make such a determination, the proposed protected person needs to undergo a thorough evaluation and assessment by a physician to assess their mental capacity and ability to care for him or herself. The guardianship ends upon the death of the incapacitated person, termination of the guardianship or the guardian's resignation or removal.
Guardian's duties and powers in Hawaii. A guardian will have the authority to make legal and medical decisions on behalf of the proposed protected person and take custody of personal effects. However, a guardian cannot disregard the proposed protected person's pre-incapacity advance health care directive without a court order. The guardian will be given a court-approved budget that can be used for the proposed protected person’s support, care, education, health and welfare. Still, a guardianship does not address the overall management of a person’s assets, real property or financial affairs. If the management and conservation of the proposed protected person's assets are an issue, a conservatorship may be necessary.
Our Billing Practices for Guardianship matters. For some, a firm's billing methods are a source of anxiety and trepidation. At the Law Office of Samuel K.L. Suen, LLLC, we believe in simplicity and transparency when it comes to billing and we take the time to explain to our clients the fees and costs involved. Our invoices clearly detail and describe all completed tasks and the time taken to accomplish them. For guardianship matters, we use an hourly rate and bill in increments of 6 minutes (or 0.1 of an hour). We will request a refundable retainer from which fees and costs will be billed against. If there are any funds remaining at the conclusion of the matter, they will be returned to the client. If the retainer is depleted beforehand we will send clients monthly invoices with payment due 30 days thereafter.
How we can help. Once appointed, a guardian is required to file annual reports with the court regarding the protected person’s status. The Law Office of Samuel K.L. Suen, LLLC can help you with filing for the guardianship, guide you through the process as well as the subsequent administration in an efficient and cost-effective manner.
If you are interested in having our firm assist you with your guardianship matter, please download, complete and submit the questionnaire that is to the right.
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