Compassionate Legal Guidance For Guardianship Matters
Guardianship is always a sensitive matter. It grants legal authority to another person to handle all your affairs. It is always a serious issue and can only be ordered by a court after a review of expert testimony regarding a person’s incapacity. Guardianships are often used to care for minor children or incapacitated adults. It is a complex and time-consuming process given its seriousness.
At Joseph P. McCafferty, LLC, our attorneys understand the difficulties and challenges presented by the need for a guardianship. While a guardianship can be set up in advance by the ward, in most cases, they are appointed by the court due to a legal or physical incapacity.
Minor children are legally incapacitated, as they cannot manage their own affairs before they turn age 18. Adults who suffer from a developmental or incapacity resulting from a medical condition, such as a stroke or dementia are also subject to guardianships. For more than 30 years, we have helped numerous clients successfully deal with the challenges of guardianship.
Experienced Help With All Aspects Of Guardianship
If you need to obtain a guardianship, we will explain the process, what needs to be shown to demonstrate the incapacity, how to obtain the “statement of expert evaluation” and assist you with the court proceedings to receive a court appointment. If you are a family member who is to be named the guardian, we will explain the duties and responsibilities.
A guardian typically has broad powers to act for their ward. The guardian’s power to spend the assets of the ward usually requires court approval and we can help you with this when necessary. A guardian is required to provide a report to the court at least once every two years and we will assist you with this requirement and help to ensure it is accurate and is filed correctly.
Elements Of A Guardianship
There are many elements to a guardianship:
- You may have a guardianship of a person, which provides authority to determine where the ward will live, their personal care, and educational need. You can also have guardianship of the estate, which is used to manage the financial affairs of the ward. The guardian would pay their bills, collect debts, invest funds or sell assets as needed. Most guardianships include both powers. The guardian owes the ward a fiduciary duty to protect them and their assets.
- If you are mentally competent but suffer a physical incapacity, you can obtain a conservatorship, which is similar to a guardianship in terms of authority.
- There are various types of guardianships like limited, interim, emergency and conservator. Each type responds to specific needs, such as time limit, powers and purpose, or to replace a guardian.
- The powers of a guardian can be challenged if family members suspect the guardian is not performing their duties properly. The ward may also challenge the guardianship if they feel it is unnecessary.
We know that you may be going through difficult times. Let us handle the paperwork and discuss your options in detail. You can expect honest advice from us and no unpleasant surprises as we advance the process.
Contact Us For Legal Advice
For compassionate and caring legal counsel related to a guardianship, call our Westlake office at 866-603-6650 to discuss your options in a free consultation. You can also leave your contact information in our online form.