There may come a time when you need to appoint a guardian or conservator. If something happens to you or your spouse, you may need someone to take care of your children and make legal decisions on their behalf.
Likewise, an elderly family member could become unable to care for themselves and need a guardian or conservator to make decisions for them or manage their finances.
A court investigator is appointed after a petition is filed
The process of appointing a guardian or conservator can be complicated and overwhelming. After you’ve selected your desired guardian or conservator, a petition for their appointment must be filed with the court.
After that, the court appoints a court investigator. The purpose of appointing a court investigator is exactly what you would expect. They investigate the proposed guardian or conservator to make sure they are suitable for the role.
Requirements to be a court investigator
A court investigator must have a background in law, nursing or social work and complete a training program through the Arizona Supreme Court. The training program must be completed every five years.
The court investigator must have no personal interest in the proceedings. This means if the personal investigator happens to be a friend, family member or anyone else you know personally, someone else will need to be appointed.
The investigation itself
There are many things the court investigator does as part of their investigation. They interview both the potential guardian or conservator and those in need of the guardianship or conservatorship.
Home visits to both homes are also required, and the proposed guardian or conservator must submit to a criminal background check and provide a fingerprint sample.
As part of the interview process, the court investigator may have access to any court, financial or medical records involved with the proceeding. If home caregivers or nursing homes are involved, interviews must be conducted with them, as well.
The court investigator also takes care of practical tasks, such as arranging transportation to court proceedings for the incapacitated person.
Once the investigation is complete, the court investigator files a report with the court with the results of their investigation.
This investigation is just one step in guardianship or conservatorship proceedings. Estate planning attorneys are great resources for advice and guidance through every step of the process.