How to Open an Adult Guardianship Case
If you want to be the guardian over an adult, there are many forms you must fill out to open a case. The forms tell the judge about you, anyone who wants to be a co-guardian with you, the person you want to be the guardian over, and why the guardianship is needed. Read on for more information about the forms you must complete and how to open a case.
Before you begin:
- Is this page for me? This page is for people who want to become the court-appointed guardian over an adult in Nevada.
- Can I do this without a lawyer? Yes, but guardianship cases can be difficult to navigate on your own. There are many court rules and requirements you must follow to succeed in a guardianship case. If you do not follow the rules and requirements, your case could be delayed or even dismissed! Before filing for guardianship, it is very important to read through every article in the Guardianship Overview section of this website so you understand the concepts involved. If you decide you need legal help to file your case, you can find out where to get legal assistance by visiting Lawyers & Legal Help.
- What is the process? After you file the required papers, several things will happen.
1) The court will set a hearing. You and the adult will have to attend that hearing.
2) The court will appoint an attorney to represent the adult, who will meet with the adult and attend the hearing.
3) You will have to serve the adult's relatives and other agencies with copies of the papers, and they can attend the hearing if they want. If you do not do this, your hearing will be cancelled.
- Where can I learn more? You can attend a free guardianship class that teaches you the basics of filing for guardianship.
Follow these steps to start a guardianship case:
1. Fill out the forms. You have to fill out 4 forms to start your case, and you need to get a doctor to fill out a physian's certifiate.
2. File the forms. Turn in your completed forms by mail or efiling.
3. Serve the adult, the relatives, and other required people. You will have to serve many people with your filed court forms. If you do not do this, your hearing will be cancelled.
Learn more about each step below.
To open an adult guardianship case, you will need to file the forms below or use the guided online interview to complete them electronically.
Automated Forms Interview with Efile Available!
You can use an automated interview that will complete your forms for you after you answer some questions about what you want to request. To use the automated interview, click here and select the "GUARDIANSHIP: Adult Guardianship Petition" interview. It is best to use Chrome or Firefox (Safari is not recommended and not supported).
At the end of the interview you can efile directly through the program or print/save your forms to file in person.
ALL of the forms below are required to open a guardianship case. The forms below will set a hearing for you to see the judge in a month or two. If there is a serious emergency and you need to be appointed the guardian right away, you can instead fill out the Emergency Adult Guardianship Packet on the Guardianship Forms page. Emergency guardianships are not granted very often, and are only approved if the adult needs immediate medical attention or if the adult is facing an immediate risk of harm.
Family Court Cover Sheet - required
One or two people can ask to be the guardians over an adult. This form asks for basic information about you, any person who wants to be a co-guardian with you, and the person over whom you are asking to be the guardian. You are the Petitioner and any proposed co-guardian is the Co-Petitioner.
Confidential Information Sheet - required
You must provide one form of ID for each guardian and for the person over whom the guardianship is requested. Fill out this form and check which type of ID you are providing for each. Attach a copy of the ID to the form.
The proposed guardians must include their ID when filing. If you do not have ID for the proposed protected person, you can file it within 120 days of becoming the guardian.
This information is filed confidentially and is not available to the public.
Petition for Appointment of Guardian - required
This form tells the court who is asking to be named the guardian and why. The person asking to be the guardian is the "proposed guardian/petitioner." If a second person is asking to be a co-guardian, that person is the "proposed second guardian/co-petitioner." The person over whom the guardianship is requested is the "proposed protected person." Complete all sections.
You must mark on the first page what type of guardianship you are asking for. You can ask to be the guardian over the "person" (to make medical/personal decisions), the "estate" (to make financial decisions), or the "person and estate" (to make medical/personal/financial decisions).
Citation to Appear and Show Cause - required
This form sets a court date. Fill out every section except for the "Date and Time of Court Appearance" (that part will be filled out by the court clerk when you file your papers).
Physician's Certificate - required
This form is usually completed by a doctor, and tells the judge about the proposed protected person's medical condition. It also may excuse the proposed protected person from attending the hearing. This form must be filed at least one week before the court date, if you can't file it with the other papers immediately.
The adult over whom you are asking to be the guardian is normally required to attend the court hearing with you. The doctor can excuse the person's attendance in the form above.
- If you are asking to be the guardian over the person only (not the estate), there is no filing fee.
- Guardian over the estate: No fee if assets are $2500 or less.
- Guardian over the esatate: $5 fee if the assets are more than $2500, payable by cash, money order, or most major credit/debit cards. If you cannot afford the fee, please see Filing Fees and Waivers to find out how to ask the court to waive the fee.
You can file your papers one of these ways:
- Online: You can file online through the court's e-filing system, eFileNV. There is a fee of $3.50 to upload your documents, in addition to the regular filing fee. You must register for an account, you must provide a valid email address, and you must be able to scan and upload your documents as separate pdfs. Do not upload one pdf with all of the forms included - this will significantly delay the processing. Each form needs to be filed as its own pdf, but you can upload all of them in one submission. Carefully follow the E-Filing Guide to avoid mistakes.
- In person at the Family Courthouse (check our How to File page for hours and more information).
By Mail: (mail takes about 6-8 weeks to process) Mail your forms to:
Family Courts and Services Center
Attn: Clerk of Court
601 North Pecos Road
Las Vegas, NV 89101
Once the case is filed, the judge will appoint an attorney to represent the adult you are seeking to be the guardian over. The attorney will participate in all aspects of the case to represent the adult's wishes.
After you file your forms, you have to serve the adult, the adult's relatives, and possibly some other agencies with a copy of the Petition and the Citation. The Court does not serve the papers for you. It is up to YOU to make sure all of the required people are served after you file for guardianship.
Visit the Serving the Relatives page to learn how to serve.