After filing and serving the guardianship papers, the proposed guardians and the adult over whom the guardianship is requested must appear at a hearing in front of a judge. The judge will then decide whether to grant the guardianship. Read this section to find out the things you must do before the guardianship hearing and what to expect at the hearing.
Preparing for the Hearing
There are many things the proposed guardians must do to be ready for the hearing. Make sure all of the following items are completed before the hearing:
- Serve the Adult/Relatives/Agencies and File Proof of Service. Not serving the adult you want to be the guardian over and the required relatives and agencies with the Petition and Citation is perhaps the biggest reason that guardianship hearings do not go forward. Make sure you know Who Must Be Notified and make sure you have properly Served the Adult and Relatives before the hearing. Remember to file proof with the court that each person has been notified of the proceedings (through a certificate of mailing, an affidavit of service, or a waiver).
- File the "Certificate of Incapacity" (if not already done). This is the form that is usually completed by a doctor, explaining the medical condition of the person. If this was not filed with all of the other papers when the case was opened, be sure it is filed before the hearing.
Physician's Certificate of Incapacity (pdf)
- Arrange for the Adult to Appear at the Hearing. The person you are asking to be named the guardian over must appear at the hearing unless excused. If the person is not able to attend the hearing, someone will have to advise the person of their rights and fill out a form indicating the person's response. See the next section to find out how to do this.
- If None of the Proposed Guardians are Nevada Residents, Secure a Registered Agent (This does not apply if at least one guardian is a resident of Nevada). Non-Nevada guardians must designate a "registered agent" in the State of Nevada to accept service of legal documents. Non-Nevada guardians must select a registered agent (if you need to hire a service, a list can be found here) and complete the "Appointment of Registered Agent by Court-Appointed Nonresident Guardian of Adult" form located on the Secretary of State's website. The form should be mailed back to the Nevada Secretary of State. The form should be mailed back to the Nevada Secretary of State. The court cannot appoint a nonresident as a guardian until this form has been properly filed with the Secretary of State.
Who Must Attend the Hearing
Anyone asking to be named the guardian must attend the hearing. The adult over whom the guardianship is requested, the "proposed protected person," must also attend the hearing unless the person has been excused. Any other relatives or interested persons may also attend the hearing if they have anything to share with the judge.
If the Proposed Protected Person Cannot Attend the Hearing:
If the person over whom the guardianship is requested cannot attend the hearing, the physician should certify that the person cannot attend in the Certificate of Incapacity.
In addition, someone who is not part of the guardianship case will have to fill out an Admonishment of Rights form stating that they have done the following:
- Informed the person that the petitioner is requesting that the court appoint a guardian for him or her;
- Asked the person for a response to the guardianship petition;
- Asked the preferences of the person for the appointment of a particular person as the guardian; and
- Informed the person that they have a right to appear at the hearing in person or via videoconference.
THIS IS REQUIRED EVEN IF THE ADULT CANNOT UNDERSTAND WHAT IS BEING SAID. Someone who is not part of the guardianship case must speak to the proposed protected person about the above items and complete the Admonishment of Rights form afterward, indicating the person's responses. The person can explain in the form that the adult's responses may have been limited. The Admonishment of Rights should be filed at least a week before the court hearing.
Make sure you arrive for the hearing at least 20 minutes early so you have time to park, get through security, and find the courtroom.
At the hearing, the judge will ask the proposed guardians any questions that the judge might have. If the proposed protected person is present, the judge will ask the person some questions as well. Anyone who is against the guardianship will also be able to tell the judge the reasons they are opposed.
Prior to the hearing, the Court will have appointed an attorney to represent the proposed protected person. The attorney will be present to represent the adult's wishes.
After the judge has heard from everyone, the judge may decide immediately whether to grant or deny the guardianship. If the judge needs to hear more before deciding on the guardianship, the judge may set a trial where the judge will hear from witnesses and examine any other evidence. Follow any instructions given by the judge if the judge does not make a final decision at this hearing.
If the judge approves the guardianship, the judge may create and give you an order appointing the guardians. The guardians will also be sworn in to take an oath. There may be other steps you need to take to finish your case. Visit After the Hearing to find out the final important steps to take to complete the guardianship case.