When is a guardian needed?

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The information outlined below should serve as a general guideline for guardianship consideration. We’re here to help lead you through your family’s specific needs.

When to seek legal advice

Nevada Guardian Services professionally licensed, however we are not attorneys and do not provide legal advice. We recommend seeking counsel in the event that legal support is needed.

Signs that a Person May Need Guardianship

If a guardianship has not been established in another state, the Court requires a physician licensed in the State of Nevada to provide medical documentation that a person requires a guardianship. Some signs that a person may need a guardianship include the following:

IF a person requires medically necessary care and lacks the ability to take steps to obtain various public benefits to pay for the medically needed care.

IF a healthcare professional has identified that their adult patient is compromised in his or her ability to make decisions, understand responsibilities of decisions or retain the information.

IF a person is being financially exploited and cannot protect himself or herself from the exploiter.

IF a health care professional notes that their patient is chronically confused, forgetful, and non-compliant with medications or medical appointments and tests.

IF a person demonstrates unsafe behaviors which places his or her safety at risk and is not able to understand the risks.

Alternatives to Guardianship

Would the appointment of a representative payee of a person’s income provide the needed assistance and financial management necessary to provide for the needs of an individual and protect the person’s estate?

Has the person executed Estate Planning documents? Including Powers of Attorney for Finances and/or Healthcare decisions?

Has a physician made statements to the limited capacity of the individual? Is the individual able to make some personal decisions needing guidance and support only?

Statutory Definitions

 NRS 159.017  “Guardian” defined.  “Guardian” means any person appointed under this chapter as guardian of the person, of the estate, or of the person and estate for any other person, and includes an organization under NRS 662.245 and joint appointees. The term includes, without limitation, a special guardian or, if the context so requires, a person appointed in another state who serves in the same capacity as a guardian in this State.

(Added to NRS by 1969, 412; A 1971, 1010; 1981, 1933; 1999, 849; 2009, 1644)

NRS 159.022  “Limited capacity” defined.  A person is of “limited capacity” if:

1. The person is able to make independently some but not all of the decisions necessary for the person’s own care and the management of the person’s property; and

2. The person is not a minor.

(Added to NRS by 1981, 1931; A 1999, 1396; 2003, 1771)

NRS 159.024  “Private professional guardian” defined.

1. “Private professional guardian” means a person who receives compensation for services as a guardian to three or more protected persons who are not related to the guardian by blood or marriage and who meets the requirements set forth in NRS 159.0595.

2. For the purposes of this chapter, the term includes an entity that serves as a private professional guardian and is:

(a) Required to have a license issued pursuant to chapter 628B of NRS; or

(b) Exempt pursuant to NRS 159.0595, 159A.0595 or 628B.110 from the requirement to have a license issued pursuant to chapter 628B of NRS.

3. The term does not include:

(a) A governmental agency.

(b) A public guardian appointed or designated pursuant to the provisions of chapter 253 of NRS.

4. As used in this section, “protected person” includes a protected minor.

(Added to NRS by 2005, 814; A 2009, 1644; 2015, 2365; 2017, 868, 2423)


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