Dedicated Attorneys & Proven Results Since 1980

Protecting The Future Of Your Children

If you are seeking legal guardianship over a loved one in southwestern Pennsylvania, call Schimizzi Law, LLC, in Greensburg. Our probate administration attorneys have extensive experience working with clients petitioning for guardianship in Westmoreland County and communities throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. Call at 724-838-9722, or contact us by email to arrange an initial consultation with one of our experienced Greensburg guardianship lawyers today.

Guardianship Petitions

Under Pennsylvania law, individuals attaining age 18 years old have the legal right to make their own decisions regarding their financial affairs, legal matters and personal welfare. This law takes effect even if the individual has a physical, emotional or mental disability that may affect judgment. In cases where a minor clearly lacks the mental capacity to handle the affairs of his or her own welfare, however, a parent, sibling or extended family member may choose to petition the court to be appointed legal guardian.

Who Petitions The Court For Guardianship?

It is often the case that the parent of a child with a mental or emotional disability will petition the court for appointment as legal guardian when the child reaches the age of 18 years. The courts may decide to award the petitioner full or partial guardianship, as well as permanent or temporary guardianship.

Partial Or Temporary Guardianship

It is frequently the case when a single parent is incarcerated or required to undergo long-term residential recovery from chemical abuse (for example). An extended family member, such as a grandparent, must be available during the incarceration period to make immediate decisions on behalf of the child’s welfare. The terms of such appointments may be limited to the period of the parent’s incarceration and may extend only to particular choices regarding the minor’s welfare.

Why Not Ask A Sibling Or Extended Family Member?

Many families choose to informally “self-appoint” a close family member to serve as temporary guardian while the parent is incapacitated or unable to perform parental obligations. While this may be sufficient for most decisions regarding the child’s or disabled adult’s welfare, the appointment may not be honored by the court. Having no court-appointed guardian in place may open your family up to potential disputes and litigation.


A person or entity petitions the court for an appointment to take control of the financial estate of a minor without parents or an incapacitated adult. Conservatorships are frequently awarded to an adult child or grandchild of an elderly, infirm or incapacitated parents or grandparents who have not relinquished control over their financial affairs, but demonstrably lack the capacity to act on their own behalf.

Don’t work in southwestern Pennsylvania but need a local guardianship attorney? We work with out-of-state clients who have probate petitions in southwestern Pennsylvania. We can assist you even if you do not live in our area.

A Family Law Firm That Understands The Importance Of Taking Care Of Family

Let us help you feel more comfortable petitioning the court for guardianship or conservatorship. You will find our staff friendly and our attorneys approachable and responsive. Call us at 724-838-9722, or use the email form on our contact page to inform us of your legal needs. Our offices are located just one block from the courthouse in downtown Greensburg. If you have special needs or limitations, such as inability to meet during the day, we will find a time that works.

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