In the practice of law, attorneys assume positions of immense responsibility on behalf of the people they represent. Contract law requires that attorneys give an accurate description of contract clauses to their clients. An inaccurate clause representation could cost the client thousands of dollars and even ignite a lawsuit against the attorney.
Another area of law where the attorney takes on tremendous responsibility is in setting up and administrating guardianships. When people think of guardians, they often think of a non-parental relationship with a child. But more often than not, a guardian arrangement is administered by an attorney, and the client is not a child.
While not every client in a guardianship is a child, it is still true that children make up a large portion of those covered by guardianship arrangements. While every court in every state would like to make sure that children in need of guardians get the help they need, getting a guardianship approved is not always a slam dunk.
Children in need of guardians are often orphaned, disowned by their parents, or have won a legal agreement to be separated legally from their parents. In these instances, the state will look for a responsible adult to step up and become the child's guardian. While the hope is that a family member will step in to care for the child and take care of the child's legal affairs, courts are sometimes forced to make alternate arrangements.
Developmentally disabled children who are unable to take care of their legal and financial needs as they become adults require a legal guardian. Even though many states make provisions to care for developmentally disabled people, there still needs to be someone who looks out for the physical, emotional, and financial well-being of that adult.
An adult who becomes disabled in some way due to an accident or illness may also require a guardian. In these instances, the courts must be careful to consider all of the needs of the adult in question. The adult may feel as though they can make their own decisions and care for themselves, but the reality may be quite different. A good attorney is essential in administering one of the types of guardianship cases.
Most states make no assumptions when it comes to the need for guardianship on a senior. It is not assumed that a family member can sign off on paperwork without legal status as a guardian, and it is not assumed that the senior automatically needs a guardian. But, when a senior is diagnosed with an advanced case of dementia or some other debilitating condition, there needs to be a guardianship arrangement in place.
Legal professionals face difficult decisions every day, and they know that their resolutions to those issues directly affect the lives of their clients. In the case of a guardianship, it is important to put a competent adult in place to make decisions on behalf of another person to make sure that the person gets treated fairly and is not cheated out of what they are entitled to. In some cases, that guardian becomes the attorney, and that takes the attorney-client relationship to a whole new level.