Guardianship comes in various forms, each designed to cater to different needs. Your guardianship attorney can explain these types, including:
The suitable type largely depends on the ward's situation and needs.
Although both tools enable someone to make decisions on behalf of another, they're quite different. Guardianship often involves court proceedings, with the judge defining the guardian's responsibilities. In contrast, power of attorney is a voluntary legal document where one person gives another the authority to make certain decisions for them. Your guardianship attorney can discuss these differences in greater depth.
Appointing a guardian involves several key steps:
Guardians are tasked with the ward's wellbeing, and their responsibilities might include:
Your attorney can provide more details based on the type of guardianship.
Yes, a guardian can be replaced or removed, usually by showing the court that the guardian isn't acting in the ward's best interests, or that someone else is more suitable. Your guardianship attorney can guide you through this potentially complex process.
Even under guardianship, a ward retains certain rights such as the right to be treated with respect, the right to privacy, and the right to have their preferences considered. The specific rights retained can differ based on jurisdiction and guardianship type.
The duration of the guardianship process can vary based on factors like the case's complexity, the court's schedule, and whether the guardianship is contested. A more precise estimate can be provided by your attorney.
If a ward disagrees with the guardianship, they have the right to contest it in court. They can also request a different guardian or ask for the guardianship to be terminated if they can prove their ability to make their own decisions. Your guardianship attorney can guide you through this process if it arises.
Sometimes, the ward's estate may be used to cover legal fees associated with the guardianship process, but this varies depending on local laws and case specifics. Always consult your guardianship attorney about potential costs and who will bear them.
Depending on the situation, alternatives to guardianship may be more suitable. These could include power of attorney, conservatorship, or a trust. Discuss these options with your attorney to understand their pros and cons.