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Adult Guardianships in Utah

Utah law provides that a guardian may be appointed to protect the interests of an "incapcitated person."  There are many different circumstances that can give rise to the need for the appointment of a guardian.  Under Utah law, the term "incapcitated person" refers to a person who, by reason of mental or physical illness or disability, mental deficiency, chronic use of drugs or alcohol, or "other cause, except minority" is impaired to the extent that he or she lacks sufficient understanding or ability to make or communicate responsible decisions.

Before a guardian may be appointed for an adult in Utah, the court must first make a determination that the person is in fact "incapcitated."  The person over whom the guardianship is sought is entitled to be represented by counsel.  The court may also require that a physician examine the person and submit a report to the court.  The court may sometimes require that a "visitor" appointed by the court interview the person seeking appointment as guardian, visit the person alleged to be incapacitated, and inspect the place where the allegedly incapacitated person is or will be living.

When the necessity or appropriateness of a guardianship is contested, the process can become quite complex.  But in cases where all parties agree that a guardianship is proper, an experienced Utah family law attorney can help streamline the process, avoiding unecessary costs and delays.

Contact one of our Utah family law attorneys for an initial consultation regarding the requirements for obtaining a guardianship in Utah.


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by Stephen W. Howard, P.C.

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