- Estate Planning
- Elder Law
- Special Needs Trusts
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The need for Guardianship can arise for any number of reasons. At its core, it is the legal process through which the rights of the Ward, an individual who is deemed unable to care for him- or herself, are taken away and decision-making power granted to the Guardian(s), the court-appointed caretaker(s) of the Ward. Guardianship is a very serious matter, and we, the Attorneys of Hayes & Wilson PLLC, treat Guardianship with the utmost care, keeping the well-being of the Ward in mind.
There are essentially two forms of Guardianship:
A person can be Guardian of both the Person and the Estate, but in some cases these jobs are divided between two individuals. This is determined on a case-by-case basis and is dependent upon what is deemed in the best interest of the Ward.
The Guardianship process has many steps to ensure that the Proposed Ward’s rights are protected and that the guardianship is necessary. This process includes:
If Guardianship is deemed necessary, the Judge will determine the individual(s) to serve as the Guardian(s) and what rights the Proposed Ward should retain.
When it is deemed by the Court that an individual is unable to make medical and living decisions for him- or herself, a Guardian of the Person is established. This individual is given the authority to make these decisions for the Ward, meaning that all doctors and medical providers must operate based on the instructions of the Guardian in all medical decisions. To help ensure that the Guardian of the Person is making these decisions in the best-interest of the Ward, the Guardian of the Person is required to complete an Annual Report on the well-being of the Ward and submit this report to the Court.
When it is deemed by the Court that an individual is unable to manage their own assets or income, there is a need for a Guardian of the Estate or another asset management tool such as a Guardianship Management Trust. The Guardian of the Estate must file an initial inventory detailing the Ward’s assets and keep track of the income and expenses paid out throughout the year. To help ensure that the Guardian of the Estate is making these decisions in the best-interest of the Ward, the Guardian of the Estate must file an annual account to the Court reflecting the changes throughout the year.
To determine if Guardianship is the right choice for you or someone you love, contact us to arrange a consultation with one of our Attorneys.