As people go through life, it is obvious that familiarizing oneself to legal terminology is not a high priority. Yet, as we get older, it is important to get ourselves informed about decisions and circumstances that one day we may find ourselves in. Below is some general information to get you acquainted with the topic of guardianship. It is vital to keep yourself informed to ensure your legal rights are protected. Read below and keep up with our Blog!
What is a guardian?
A guardian is an institution/individual appointed by the court (or voluntarily appointed by an elderly individual) to make personal needs or property management decisions for an incapacitated person.
Who needs a guardian and what does one do?
Guardianship can apply to adults who have suffered an accident, illness, or traumatic brain injury, individuals who are developmentally disabled and/or mentally impaired and the elderly. Individuals who are no longer competent need a Guardian to protect them. If an adult or a child is not able to take care of himself or herself, the courts may appoint a guardian to oversee that person’s care. This may happen in the case of an adult (over 18 years old) who is elderly or incapacitated in any way, or in the case of a minor (under 18) whose parents are deceased or have abandoned, abused, or neglected the child or have other extenuating circumstances.
The court-appointed guardian may have the authority to provide daily care, manage the individual’s property, secure their assets, pay their bills, file their legal documents and make their court appearances.
What are guardianship proceedings?
A guardianship proceeding seeks a Court determination as to whether the individual is “incapacitated,” meaning whether he or she is incapable of caring for financial and/or personal needs and, if so, to appoint an appropriate person or institution to serve as guardian and to act on behalf of the individual.
What is contested guardianship?
The individual for whom a guardianship proceeding is commenced can contest the need for guardianship or the appointment of the individual who is seeking to become a guardian. Also, other people who have an interest in the proceeding, such as the incapacitated individual’s spouse, children, siblings or parents, may disagree with the petition, the need for the appointment of the guardian or the appointment of a particular guardian.
Contact an Attorney
Guardianship issues are significant Family Law matters, with a major impact to the personal rights of the alleged incapacitated adult or child. Contact Tanya Hobson-Williams, P.C. to help you navigate how to best get legal decision-making authority assigned for your loved one and ease the burden on your family.