When planning for the physical, emotional, and financial care of an elder, there are a number of different legal options to choose from. One of them is an arrangement known as guardianship.
What is guardianship?
Guardianship, which is known as conservatorship in some states, is an arrangement under which a court-appointed guardian makes important decisions for someone who can no longer make them for themselves. It can cover specific decisions, like finances and medical care, or all areas of the ward’s life.
Why choose guardianship?
Many elders have worked with their families and an attorney to establish an advance directive or living will, grant a trusted loved one power of attorney, or some combination of the two. However, if those legal arrangements are not in place and an elder is physically or mentally incapable of making their own decisions, guardianship may be the best option.
How is guardianship established?
The need for guardianship must be proven in a court of law. Experts, such as the person in question’s doctors, must prove that they are mentally or physically incapable of making their own choices. This is a rather intense process for all parties involved, and can require a great deal of money and time.
As with any legal arrangement, there are pros and cons to choosing guardianship. On one hand, knowing that someone is making thoughtful decisions for your loved one and is prepared to deal with third parties will give your family peace of mind. On the other, choosing a guardian can be hard on a family with different opinions, and the process is sometimes embarrassing for an elder who is not fully incapacitated. It’s important that the pursuit of guardianship is handled with extreme care. No stone can be left unturned. And the most important step is to find the right lawyer for your case.
The decision to choose guardianship can be tough on you and your loved ones, and the team at Promise Law understands that. You can trust us to handle your case with the utmost sensitivity.