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Adult Guardianship: What Is The Cost?

Adult Guardianship: What Is The Cost?
How expensive is the guardianship process?

If you are appointed guardian of the person, your role is straightforward and requires an annual written report filed with the Court that explains the ward’s well-being. On the other hand, if you are appointed guardian of the estate, you are subject to more monitoring by the Court. A guardian of an estate must file an inventory, proposed budget, and annual accountings.

Generally, the fees associated with adult guardianship cases are paid by the petitioning party or from the estate assets. It costs $50.00 to file a petition to be appointed as guardian of a person and $70.00 to file a petition to be appointed as guardian of an estate whose assets total less than $15,000.00. In cases where the estate is larger than $15,000.00, the petition filing fee is $105.00. These costs may be subject to change in the future. If you would like to learn more, check out this link.

Similar to the probate process, the guardian of an estate must receive a surety bond as a way to ensure the money in the estate is safeguarded. Typically, surety bonds cost $50.00 per year for $8,000.00 worth of coverage.

Lastly, in both guardianship types, a guardian ad litem may be required. A guardian ad litem is appointed by the court to be an advocate for the ward and to evaluate medical records and other evidence to ensure the person with a disability needs a guardian and hopefully can broker an agreement if there is a contest. Guardian ad litems are commonly licensed attorneys or have been trained to act in the ward’s best interest. The cost of hiring a guardian ad litem is upward of $200.00 per hour. If you are unable to afford a guardian ad litem, you can apply for legal aid and one will be appointed and paid for by the organization. Attorney and guardian ad litem fees may be paid from the estate of the person with a disability. You may incur other costs such as hiring an attorney to handle the matter, using expert witnesses, or appraising a property. These costs are case dependent and typically arise when a case is contested.

Our attorneys at Hays Firm want to help you navigate the guardianship process. Schedule a free consultation to see how we can help you by filing out this form.