Guardianship is a legal process that places a "guardian" in charge of making important decisions regarding assets, medical treatment, and more when a person can no longer make or communicate decisions about their own person or property. Guardian Services can also be an appropriate solution when a person has become susceptible to fraud or undue influence.
However, it is important to note that establishing a guardianship may take away certain significant rights from an individual. So it is strongly suggested that other options are explored first, before settling on guardianship to help prevent any unwanted outcomes.
Once appointed by the court, a guardian may become accountable for the following: determining and monitoring the residence of the incapacitated person, protecting the individual's assets from loss, obtaining appraisals of the incapacitated person's property, receiving and managing the income of the estate, obtaining court approval before selling any of the individual's assets, providing consent to and monitoring of the indiviual's medical treatment and education, providing consent and releasing confidential information pertaining to the individual, making end-of-life decisions for the incapacitated person, acting as representative payee, maximizing the independence of the individual and reporting to the court about the guardianship status.
It is not always a friend or family member who assumes the responsibilities listed above. In some cases, a professional from guardian services company will be appointed to organize the necessary professional services for the incapacitated person, such as selecting a caretaker.
In some cases, a guardianship will last only until the rights that were removed from the individual by a court are restored. In others, guardianship will be in place until the incapacitated person is no longer living. No matter the situation, an annual review will assess the need for continuing or terminating the guardianship.
When the courts appoint a legal guardian, some rights may be eliminated. These can include: determining residence, providing consent to medical treatment, making end-of-life decisions, possessing or obtaining a driver's license, managing/buying/selling property, owning and possessing a firearm or weapon, filing lawsuits, getting married, and voting in elections.
Moreover, all assets belonging to the incapacitated person remain in that person's legal possession; this means the assets in question do not become the property of the guardian appointed by the court. A guardian acts on behalf of the incapacitated person only to the extent of the court order. Contact us today for guardian services!