Who Can Be a Guardian

Nevada has specific requirements for who can and who cannot be a guardian. Read this section to learn more about the court’s requirements. 


General Qualifications

As a general rule, the court can appoint anyone who is suitable to serve as a person’s guardian. A guardian does not have to be related to the person over whom the guardianship is requested (also known as the “protected person”), although preference is given to suitable relatives when multiple people petition the court to be appointed the guardian.

One person can petition to be the guardian, or two people can petition the court to be co-guardians.

The court may require the guardian to complete any available training that the court finds appropriate.

For Non-Nevada Residents:  There may be extra requirements for non-resident guardians to ensure the safety of the protected person. Of note, 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 and complete the "Appointment of Registered Agent by 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.


Who cannot be a Guardian?

A person cannot be appointed a guardian if:

  • The person is incompetent (for instance, the person cannot take care of himself). 
  • The person is a minor. 
  • The person has filed for bankruptcy within the last 7 years.  The court may appoint a person who has filed for bankruptcy if the guardianship is over the person only (meaning no money will be handled), or if there are no other suitable candidates to serve as guardian.  The court may order additional safeguards to protect the person's money. 
  • The person has been convicted of a felony. The court may appoint a person convicted of a felony if the court determines that the conviction should not disqualify the person from serving as a guardian. 
  • The person has been suspended or disbarred from the practice of law, accounting, or any other profession that involves the management of money and requires a state license. 
  • The person has committed a crime of domestic violence, abuse, neglect, exploitation, isolation, or abandonment of a child, spouse, parent, or other adult. The court may appoint someone who has committed such a crime if the court finds it is in the best interest of the protected person to appoint that person the guardian.


What if multiple people want to be the Guardian?

If two people agree to share the duties of a guardian, they can file one set of papers to ask the court to be appointed co-guardians.

However, if there are different people who want to be separately appointed the guardian, the court selects the person who is the most suitable. To determine who is the most suitable, the court considers the following:

  • Whether the protected person, their spouse, or their parent nominated a person to be the guardian in a will or other writing; 
  • A child’s preference (for child guardianships) if the child is 14 or older; 
  • The relationship to the proposed protected person (in order of preference: spouse, adult child, parent, adult sibling, grandparent or adult grandchild, aunt/uncle/adult niece/adult nephew). 
  • A recommendation from a CPS representative (for child guardianships).
  • Any request for the appointment of any other interested person that the court deems appropriate.


What if no one qualifies as a Guardian?

The Office of the Public Guardian can serve as the guardian. The Office of the Public Guardian is court-appointed to serve as the guardian when no friends or family members are willing or able to serve as a guardian.