What is Guardianship?
When a court determines that someone cannot manage their finances or their healthcare, the court can appoint a guardian to make decisions and act on that person’s behalf.
A guardian could be an individual such as a family member or an entity. The person subject to guardianship sometimes referred to as a ward, is often an elderly person, but could also be a minor or someone with special needs that interfere with their ability to manage their own affairs.
Guardians must manage the ward’s affairs to the best of their ability, and they are supposed to allow the ward to participate in the process of making decisions that affect them insofar as their capacity allows.
When a family member has lost the ability to manage affairs and has not executed appropriate financial and healthcare power of attorney documents, it is necessary to initiate the guardianship process.
The role of guardianship can extend to the following:
- Guardianship of a Person. The guardian of a person is appointed to make decisions related to medical and physical care, custody, and control of an incapacitated person. The guardian has no authority over the financial or legal matters of the ward.
- Guardianship of an Estate. The guardian of an estate has all the financial powers and authorities of the ward. This position is comparable to having an unlimited financial power of attorney from the ward.
- General Guardianship. A general guardian will serve as a caretaker of both the person and their estate.
When a person does not have proper estate planning documents in place, the process of being adjudicated incompetent and having a guardian appointed can be stressful and costly. Such a case is likely to enter guardianship litigation or contested guardianship, which must be settled in the courtroom.
Salines-Mondello Law Firm Can Help with Guardianship
The attorneys of Salines-Mondello Law Firm, PC work closely with the family throughout the process of guardianship. Our attorneys understand not only how to efficiently manage standard guardianship cases, but also how to navigate complex cases such as those involving guardianship litigation.
To learn more about guardianships and how we can help guide you through the various procedures required to attain guardianship over your incapacitated loved one, click on the button below.