I am often hired by people to help them file for guardianship over an aging parent or an adult child who is unable to care for themselves due to mental illness or intellectual disabilities. Sometimes when I am in the Court filing the papers, there are folks there who are filing for guardianship without an attorney. They get the forms from the clerks, they sometimes meet with the Attorney of the Day for help with the paperwork, and the clerks do their best to guide the people without being able to provide legal advice or extensive assistance. The people seeking guardianship obtain the medical certificates on their own, file the papers with the court, schedule the hearing date, make sure the necessary notices go out to the appropriate people, then show up for the hearing and talk to the judge on their own.
It’s completely possible to file a guardianship on your own, especially if it isn’t being contested by anyone. This works for people who like to do the footwork themselves, who have more time to do it or who don’t have the resources to hire an attorney for the entire process. Other people prefer to pay an attorney to do most of the work, and they just show up at the hearing. An in-between option is to hire an attorney for the limited purpose of assistance with the documents and education about the process but the attorney doesn’t file an appearance with the Court or go to the hearing.
I am always happy to work with families in whatever capacity they need to help them through the guardianship process – whether it is serving as an advisor on the sidelines or walking with them through the process every step of the way.