As we grow older, our needs naturally change. Accidents, medical conditions, and the natural process of aging brings new challenges to all of us and our families. We specialize in working with families who have a spouse, parent, grandparent or other loved one whose mental and physical abilities have decreased to the point where they can no longer make sound medical decisions or manage their finances.
When a person has reached a point in their life when their decision-making ability is sufficiently impaired, guardianship may be necessary. Guardianship is a formal process through the probate court where a person is appointed as the decison-maker for a cognitively impaired person. The guardianship process can be intimidating and confusing, so it is important to have knowledgeable and supportive counsel to assist you.
Who Can Be A Guardian?
Any competent person who agrees to serve may be appointed by the probate court to serve as guardian over the person and/or estate of an incapacitated person. Once appointed, the guardian is responsible for:
Arranging for and consenting to medical treatment
Ensuring that the ward's needs are met and his or her living arrangements are safe
Applying for public benefits
Arranging for in-home or other support
Filing annual reports with the court
Advocating for the ward to see that all of his or her needs are being met
What Happens When There is No one Willing or Able to Serve as Guardian?
Sometimes there is noone willing or able to serve as the guardian. This may happen when the incapacitated person has no family or the family members live out of state. We are often contacted by family members from across the country who are worried about a family member's welfare.
We work with the family to make sure that their loved one is safe and the necessary pieces are put into place to meet their needs. We work closely with the Office of Public Guardian and a number of private professional guardians to facilitate their appointment as guardian over the person and/or estate.