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Guardianship: A Quick Guide

Two of the most critical documents in each person’s life are financial and health care power of attorney. It’s easy to create these documents, and when combined, they allow you to keep control over your affairs even if you are unable to do so yourself.

Unfortunately, some people are unable to run these documents. A person may become incompetent if they do not compile these documents correctly or fail to procure them.

It can be gut-wrenching for you to decide to seek guardianship for your loved one. 

Therefore, hiring BANKRUPTCY, GUARDIANSHIP & ESTATE ATTORNEYS is best to navigate you through the process.

What is Guardianship?

A guardianship is a formal legal action in which the court makes two crucial decisions:

  • If the person is unable to manage their affairs due to mental or physical incapacity
  • Nominate one or more people as Guardians for the incapacitated person.

In addition to having the Court appoint “Guardian(s) of the Person,” the court will also appoint “Guardian(s) of the Property.” 

Guardians of the Person are responsible for the health and medical decisions pertaining to the incapacitated person. The “Guardian of the Property” will have responsibility for managing the money of the disabled person.

In most instances, the Guardian of the Person and the Guardian of the Property is the same person (or people).

What to consider when pursuing a Guardianship

  • Having bad decisions or decisions you disagree with does not necessarily equate with being “incapable and in need of Guardianship.” These distinctions are often blurred, but a Guardian will not be appointed if a loved one is simply making poor judgments and is not cognitively impaired.
  • Will one person act as the sole Guardian, or will it be more convenient in the long term to have two persons chosen from the start? Occasionally, a new Guardianship petition is needed if only one person has been appointed and that person can no longer act.

  • Physician certification is required for guardianship petitions, and each physician must examine the allegedly incapacitated person within thirty days of filing. As a result, the timing of physical examinations and petition filing with the court is critical.
  • Is the individual seeking an appointment as a guardian aware of the responsibilities involved? A guardian becomes a fiduciary appointed by the court and is supervised by the court throughout their appointment. Getting selected as a guardian requires the suggested guardian to submit annual reports to the court yearly.