What Is a Guardianship?

Determining Competency

picture of guardianship agreementGuardianship is a court process where a judge determines that an individual is not competent to handle his personal and business affairs. The appointment of a guardian strips a person of most, if not all, of his constitutional rights, including the right to determine where he lives and who can visit with him. Taking advantage of estate planning tools such as advance directives and financial power of attorney can help you avoid the guardianship process. However, if your loved one suffers from an injury or illness that makes him unable to care for himself and he did not have his estate in order, you may have to petition the court to appoint a guardian to represent his interests. If you are concerned that you may need to petition the court to appoint a guardian to represent a loved one’s interests, an estate lawyer can help you to petition the court to appoint someone you trust.

A guardian assumes legal responsibility for an individual’s personal and business affairs. Once the court appoints a guardian, others must consult the guardian regarding decisions about where the person should live, medical treatment for the person and even who may visit the person.

If a family member or loved one is suffering from physical or mental problems and is incapable of caring for his basic needs, then you may have to petition the court to appoint a guardian to represent him.

To become the legal guardian of a loved one who is unable to make decisions on his or her behalf, you must file a petition with the court. This process is complicated and time consuming, so it is important to consult a Washington DC estate planning lawyer for help.

If a loved one is no longer able to make important decisions concerning his or her welfare and needs a court appointed guardian, contact guardianship attorney Michelle Lanchester. Even if a loved one is lacking advance directives, it is not too late to help. Leave your legacy of love and ensure your loved one gets the care he or she deserves.

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