Guardianship proceedings can be a complex and sometimes emotionally overwhelming process. Give us a call for a consultation on how best to proceed. You can hire us to handle the entire proceedings, or we can formulate a game plan for you to handle it yourself.
Article 81 Guardianships
There may come a point in your life when a loved one falls seriously ill and needs a legally appointed Guardian to manage their affairs. If you wish to become a Guardian over another person, you should know that it is a heavy burden indeed, and will only be allowed if a court finds that a person is incapacitated and truly needs a legal Guardian. A person is incapacitated when they are unable to provide for their personal needs and/or management of their property, and are unable to make or communicate responsible decisions.
In order to become the guardian of an adult, you will need to petition a court and show a judge that the adult is incapacitated. You must show the court that you will be the best person to become their guardian. As Guardian, you will be required to attend trainings and file annual reports. Courts prefer not to take away the decision-making ability of adults, so it can be difficult to get Guardianships in some cases.
Alternatives to Guardianship
Durable Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, and HIPAA Authorization
A Durable Power of Attorney will be still be valid after the grantor becomes incapacitated, whereas a power of attorney that is not durable will terminate on the grantor’s incapacity. Keep in mind that a durable power of attorney, a healthcare proxy, and a HIPAA authorization are only valid if the person has capacity at the time they make these documents.
Assisted Outpatient Treatment
A close family member or institution can petition a court for Assisted Outpatient Treatment services for someone who has a mental disorder and cannot otherwise live in the community without being a danger to themselves or others.
Representative Payee for Social Security benefits
Social Security allows a family member, friend, or qualified individual to receive benefits on behalf of an individual that cannot manage their benefits themselves.