Guardianship is a process in which someone who cannot care for himself is appointed with a guardian who can care for him. Guardianship can become necessary when an adult is incapacitated with no plan in place to address decision making in the event of incapacity. The process of securing guardianship can be complicated, but the Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can help.
Our guardianship lawyers assist individuals and families in the Finger Lakes, Rochester, Naples and surrounding areas. Give us a call at 585-374-5210 to find out how we can provide personalized assistance in your situation. We help families to avoid the need for guardianship, to go to court and secure guardianship, and to make sure a guardian is fulfilling his or her role. Contact us now for advice that can help you and to get answers to important questions including:
- How does guardianship work?
- When is guardianship needed?
- How can a Finger Lakes guardianship lawyer Help You?
How Does Guardianship Work?
Guardianship is needed when someone is not considered legally competent to make and express his or her own decisions. Some under the age of 18 needs a guardian because children are minors who do not have legal authority. A person who is mentally or physically disabled or incapacitated may also need a guardian if their condition or status prevents them from making informed choices or communicating their preferences.
If there is an adult who is not able to act on his own behalf any more, guardianship proceedings will need to be initiated by those who are concerned about that person’s well-being. An assessment must be made by the court to determine if the individual is actually incapacitated or not. If the person is found to be incapacitated, then the individual may become a ward. A guardian must be appointed in order to act on behalf of the ward and to ensure the ward’s assets and affairs are managed in an appropriate manner.
The guardian owes a duty to the ward to act in the best interests of the ward. There may be ongoing court oversight in order to determine if the guardian is fulfilling his obligations and appropriately managing assets and affairs on behalf of the ward.
When is Guardianship Needed?
In situations where parents cannot act as guardian of someone under 18, another guardian will typically need to be appointed. A guardian may be appointed for someone who is disabled or incapacitated as well. In some cases a person disabled from birth needs a guardian his or her entire life. In other situations, physical or mental illness develops later in life and guardianship proceedings are initiated at that point.
There are, however, situations where someone has become incapacitated late-in-life and guardianship is not necessary. This can happen if an incapacity plan was created. If you want to control who is going to make your decisions when you cannot, rather than having the court appoint someone, you should talk with an experienced attorney about incapacity planning. You can create a power of attorney and name an agent who will manage your affairs. There are legal tools which you can use to specify who should make your financial decisions, your personal decisions, and your healthcare decisions when you cannot.
Many people want to avoid guardianship because they would prefer to select a person to act for them, because they want to avoid court oversight and a hearing on their capacity, or because they want to spare their family the pain of guardianship proceedings. However, if you want to avoid guardianship, you need to act early before the time when a guardian or agent is needed.
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. provides assistance with incapacity planning which can make it possible to avoid guardianship. Our legal team also provides assistance in cases where it is too late to make an incapacity plan and guardianship has become the only option.
How can a Finger Lakes Guardianship Lawyer Help You?
The Law Office of Michael Robinson, P.C. can provide you with comprehensive assistance in making a plan so guardianship won’t be needed if you become incapacitated. We also provide help with guardianship proceedings in Finger Lakes, Rochester, Naples and surrounding areas.
If you are concerned that someone you care about is in need of a guardian and you are not sure what steps to take next, give us a call now at 585-374-5210. .We’ll take care of the legal process on your behalf so you can provide the care your loved one needs when he can no longer handle his own affairs. Contact us now to learn more.