Guardianships and Incompetency
Caring for an incapacitated loved one can be emotionally draining and legally challenging. Dealing with the heightened emotions that come with an illness or disability in the family is challenging enough without even considering the legal consequences of caring for your loved one. If your spouse, your parent, or another loved one is unable to make appropriate decisions on their own behalf due to a medical or mental illness, guardianship may be the answer.
That said, guardianship is an extreme form of judicial intervention in another person’s life and should only be used as a last resort. Because of the drastic nature of guardianship, our firm takes very seriously the need for devoted, caring advocacy in the establishment and administration of guardianships.
While some guardianships are more of a formality because the entire family agrees on who the guardian should be, other cases can be heavily contested between family members. Our firm has significant experience in litigating both the offensive and defensive positions in the adversarial process. There are several ways we may be involved in the guardianship process:
- We can assist in determining when a person's diminished capacity requires a formal guardianship proceeding and can advise family members about the legal issues involved. We then guide the family through the guardianship process, from beginning to end.
- We represent people who are opposed to the proposed guardianship. In those situations, where the guardianship process becomes an adversarial proceeding, we seek to prove to the court that a guardianship is not appropriate.
- We represent family members who agree that a guardianship is appropriate, but who disagree with the proposed guardian by the court. In those types of contested guardianship appointments, our firm advocates for our client's ability to best serve the incompetent person's needs and interests.
- After the guardianship has been established, we advise guardians concerning their powers, duties, and responsibilities in administering the guardianship estate.
Our firm represents clients on all sides of Guardianship Litigation matters. We can serve as counsel to the petitioner, counsel to the respondent, or as guardian ad litem.
We understand how emotional these cases can be. If you come to us to represent you in a guardianship matter, we will take the time to understand your concerns and explain your options so you can take the appropriate steps to protect your loved one.