Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

Obtaining Guardianship without an attorney

I feel it is time to get guardianship of my 56 year old brother. He lives in New York.
The court is e-mailing me the forms to fill out but are warning me that if I do not have an attorney and I make any mistakes in the filing, it will be rejected.
I do not want to spend $10,000 in legal fees to get guardianship. Has anyone done this themselves?

It might be worth a call to NAMI to see if there are resources to help you fill out the forms.
Good luck!

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In idaho i just did.and had a paralegal.do.the paperwork…and they give a guardian ad litem attorney for your brother…it gors thru juvenille court…and ask him if he wants.you to be guardian. Idaho has some.paperwork online but not all.of it…
CA has.legal.help.for.free.to do paperwork and it is done in probate court…
Check your states court website amd google.for information…

…unfortunate for me ex husband fights it and is narcissistic and convinced gardium.ad litem.im horrible and made it hard to get…i have to prove im.not a jerk and ive been taking care of son for 8 years while.dad.ignores…

@C11,
Thanks for the information. I got the paperwork from the court. It seems pretty self explanatory but I would want someone to look it over for accuracy. So sad to hear about your husband… that sucks!

Oh that is good you got the papers. thanks for the sympathy about the horrible dad I deal with.

I got guardianship in the state of Minnesota. Hired a lawyer for $500.
Every state is different. I was only living there for six months while my house was being remodeled so I took advantage of the lower prices.

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J9sit, that is a brilliant idea. My brother is approaching is 54th birthday, and I’ve considered looking into guardianship or conservatorship - but I hadn’t gotten very far.

Will your brother need to sign or participate in setting up the guardianship? If so, how did you present this to him? Could you share how your brother responded?

My mother is terrified that if we did something like this, it would be the final nail of disempowerment to my brother. While I think it would be hard news, I think it might also alleviate (what I interpret to be) his crushing shame of being unable to function and do basic responsible life tasks. My brother can do occasional manual labor, but he’s unable to open envelopes, take or make phone calls, and he hasn’t held a steady job…pretty much ever. When my brother is made aware of his failures to “adult”, he will hide in his room at their house for days at a time, and my mother is terrified of depression, since my other brother committed suicide.

How did you navigate the trip wires to avoid the potential psychological snarls?

@redmaple,
I have not gotten guardianship yet. But I have gotten the paperwork from the court. I am not interested in conservatorship because my brother is on disability and that is the only income he has. I am the representative payee for his disability, which I use to pay part of his rent. I am interested in getting guardianship so I can make life and healthcare decisions for him. Ultimately and maybe sooner than later, he will need to be placed in a long term care facility. He is 56 now. But barely functioning.
Everything needs to be done for him. I do not need his permission to get it. The court will send mental health professionals to see him to explain what I am trying to do and if they actually find him and are able to make him understand what they are saying that will be a miracle. So I am not worried about getting his permission.

@j9sit Thank you ever so much for the reply, and thank you for sharing - this helps shed some light on the differences between the two terms, and it gives me more to consider. “Much to learn, I have!”

May the days ahead run smoothly, for you, for him, and for all <3