How to Get Temporary Guardianship in Arkansas

By Jessica McElrath

A guardian is a person appointed by the court to care for another person (ward) and/or his property. In Arkansas, a qualified guardian is a person who is at least age 18, not a convicted felon and a resident of the state. The court will consider appointing a guardian of a person who is incapacitated, which means that he is unable to make decisions regarding his health or safety or is unable to manage his estate. A temporary guardian is a person who has the legal right to care for a person and/or his property temporarily.

Serve the notice for temporary guardianship on the necessary recipients. You must serve the notice on numerous people, including any ward who is over age 14, the parents of the ward if the ward is a minor, the spouse (if applicable) of the ward, the guardian of the person or the person with custody over the ward, if it is unknown who is the spouse or the parent of the ward then service on the closest and most competent relative and the Department of Human Services if you are the guardian of five or more wards. If the ward is over age 14, you must serve the ward via in-person delivery. The notice must include a copy of the petition, the temporary order and order or appointment, the date of the hearing and a statement of rights.

Attend the hearing. The clerk of the court will schedule a hearing date within three days of the temporary guardianship order. The court will hold a full hearing on the merits. You may present evidence, such as medical and physiological reports or testimony from a health-care provider. The court will decide whether to grant temporary guardianship to the applicant. If granted, the court must issue a letter that describes the guardian's authority and the date the guardianship expires, which may not exceed 90 days. At any time, however, the court may terminate guardianship.

File the necessary reports with the court. The court will determine if you need to file any required reports during the guardianship and upon termination.

About the Author

Jessica McElrath has been a freelance writer since 2000. McElrath is the author of "The Everything John F. Kennedy Book" and "The Everything Martin Luther King Jr. Book." McElrath has a Bachelor of Arts in history from the University of California at Berkeley and a Juris Doctor from Santa Clara University School of Law.

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