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What is Plenary Guardianship?

Plenary guardianship is when the court finds an individual incapable of caring for themselves, and therefore gives a legal guardian rights over and responsibilities towards that individual or "ward". . The court may appoint someone plenary guardianship over a child whose parents lack the ability to care for the child until the child's maturity or such time that the child can care for themselves. Plenary guardianship can include the elderly who cannot care for themselves, or any individual who cannot care for themselves for reasons including mental or physical infirmity.   

In the state of Pennsylvania what is plenary guardianship?

A plenary guardianship is appointed by the court; these guardians have all rights and power over their wards under the law. People that receive a plenary guardianship are those that are not capable of caring for themselves. Sometimes the court will order a limited guardianship, which is where they only have rights and powers over a certain aspect of a person’s life. The plenary guardian is responsible for the person’s health decisions, personal care, and financial decisions and many more legal guardianship duties.

If a child wants to live in a different state with their grandparents what legal form needs to be filled out so the grandparents can make education and medical decisions?

The parents of the child can provide the grandparents with either temporary custody or guardianship, so that the   child can be enrolled in school, taken to doctor appointments and the grandparents will be legally allowed to make decisions in regard to the care of the child. A guardianship will make a legal relationship between the guardian, in this case the grandparents, and the child, but only for certain amount of time. There are many different types of guardianships, some that are very limited and they can receive guardianship without taking the rights from the parents.  The guardian would be responsible for making decisions regarding health, education, and other decisions that would affect the child’s life. Plenary Guardianship is the closest legal simile to parenthood.  The plenary guardianship oversees the child and their estate, until such time the child is able to begin taking care of themselves, either through them gaining legal maturity or being emancipated.  The only limitation on plenary guardianship would be whatever the court orders. Either way whatever route they want to take, they would need to consult legal advice and file a petition for guardianship.

If the plenary guardian passes away can the child remain in the care of a family member until successor guardianship is completed?

The family member will usually take the child into their care unofficially until the guardianship is completed.  That family member needs to petition for emergency guardianship, which will be granted very quickly to ensure the child stays with the family.

As a ward’s legal guardian do I have the right to move my ward’s IRA account to another financial institute in the state of Illinois?

In most cases, as a legal guardian you have the right to do so, although there are some considerations. There seven different types of guardianship in Illinois.  You would need to review your court granted type of guardianship.  If the court granted a “Plenary Guardianship” or “Guardianship of the Estate” then you should have the ability to move the IRA. However, if the paper states “Limited Guardianship” or “Guardianship of the Person” then you would encounter some difficulties in moving the account.

How can I receive power of attorney of someone who is in a coma?

To receive power of attorney the person that is in the coma would need to sign papers stating that they giving you power of attorney, but in this case it’s not possible. You, as the person seeking power of attorney would need to file for guardianship through the court system. Guardianship must be appointed by the court. This kind of petition would include the name of the person you are seeking guardianship of, their date of birth and address. A report must be filed by the doctor stating the physical and mental incapability of the person; this would help the judge on which guardianship needs to be granted. 

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