Elder Law Attorney Advises on Appointing Guardianship
As with the selection of the proper elder law attorney and estate executor, appointing a guardian to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so is an important decision. It should be made carefully and with much consideration and research.
In order to understand guardianship (or conservatorship, as it is referred to in some states), it is important to understand what really constitutes “incapacity.” Incapacity has a wide range of definitions, and an incapacity declaration determines what kinds of decisions will be made by the guardian.
Today, the Davidson Law Group offers some information on guardianship, so that you can make a well-informed decision about your affairs.
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What Constitutes “Incapacity”?
First of all, it’s important to note that the rules for determining incapacity vary from state to state. So before you begin looking to appoint a guardian or conservator, you’ll want to do some research on your own or speak with an elder law attorney to figure out how your state handles it.
It’s also important to note that incapacity will not be determined simply because a person makes wild or poor decisions. It must be determined on grounds of mental or physical impairment that renders the person unable to think competently.
Appointing a Guardian
Many states allow anyone to file for guardianship. This person could be related to the incapacitated (called the “ward”) or they may be a close friend or even a neighbor. Once someone with the ward’s best interests in mind files for guardianship, the court will want to thoroughly examine the condition of the ward.
The court will also give great consideration to the character of the person filing for guardianship. They will want to see that the applicant is properly suited for the responsibilities that guardianship entails. This is something you’ll be able to prepare for with the help of an elder law attorney They will also want to assess any documents prepared by the ward as part of an estate plan or proactive elder law plan which might lay out the expectations for a guardian in a will or advance directive.
Once appointed, guardians will file regular reports with the court so their behavior in regards to the ward’s finances, estate, and property can be reviewed. They will also likely be expected to maintain records of their expenditures and work with the ward’s estate and be able to justify their actions. Because the guardian takes on so much responsibility, everyone would do well to very carefully consider who they want to place in this position and make sure that a reliable elder law attorney is overseeing things.
Related Post: Some Facts About Conservatorship
More Questions? Seek Advice from an Elder Law Attorney
Elder law is multifaceted and situational. If you need more specific guidance or clarification of the guardianship process, don’t hesitate to set up a free consultation with the Davidson Law Group. You can reach our elder law attorneys in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler.