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Guardianships

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Protecting The Future Generation

Establishing legal guardianship of a child is a difficult process. You may feel the need to establish guardianship over your grandchildren to protect them from ill-equipped parents. You may pursue guardianship if you were to marry into a family that already has children. Regardless of the situation, it’s a legal process that’s often interrupted by emotions, stress, and the turbulence of getting a court of law involved in family matters. However, an experienced family lawyer that’s familiar with the work can help guide you effectively through the process.

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Guardianship Is Often Needed For 

  • Unattended minors
  • An incapacitated person
  • A minor with deceased parents
  • A minor’s estate
  • Elderly people in need of long-term care
  • Financial decision making for elderly people
  • Power of attorney for elderly people who can’t make health decision
  • And more

Guardianship For Children

If you are hoping to become a child’s guardian for any reason, you can file a petition for guardianship as a relativeof the child. That means you can be the stepparent, uncle, aunt, cousin, grandparent or other blood relative to begin the process. You should know that you do not have to be a caretaker of the child at any point to qualify as a guardian in the eyes of the court now. 

After the process has begun, the court will determine whether the child is in need of another legal guardian. If the court determines that the parents are legally unfit to act as guardians, the person who filed will likely be granted with guardianship. Parents can be deemed unfit based on drug abuse, domestic violence, and other acts that might put the child in harm’s way.

Guardianships For Adults

Guardianship is sometimes needed for adults. You can petition for guardianship for an adult if you’re concerned about their long-term safety. When you petition the court, you should have a guardianship plan in place already. If the adult is incapacitatied or partially incapacitated, the adult will often qualify for guardianship. This is often determined based on if they have any physical disabilities, mental disabilities, or a combination of both. 

When the court decides that the adult in question does not have the capacity to care for themselves effectively, a guardian will be put in place. This guardian will be responsible for managing the property, businesses, financial affairs, health affairs and living arrangements for the adult. This can sometimes occur later in life as mental incompetence at an old age, physical disabilities from diseases, and weakness of the mind could become an issue later in life. 

This process can sometimes be complicated by the existence or lack of a living will. If a living will details a guardian already for an older adult or an incapacitated adult that they previously cared for, that will need to be challenged seperately 

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