Creating And Protecting Your Legacy

When are guardianships necessary?

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2023 | Elder Law and Medicaid Planning |

In some situations, individuals might be unable to make legal decisions. It usually happens when they have health conditions that cause an incapacity to exercise their legal rights, especially about matters regarding their property.

Fortunately, the law has provisions for appointing guardians to incapacitated individuals, which could include people with developmental disabilities. However, someone could only acquire guardianship if they are legally incapacitated based on facts and supporting evidence.

To do so, a person must file a petition to determine incapacity with the court, followed by an examination by a committee comprised of relevant specialists. The court can only grant the petition if the examination results confirm the person’s incapacity.

They could then schedule a hearing to determine whether the person’s incapacity is partial or total. From this information, the court could appoint a guardian. However, they could consider alternative options with fewer restrictions based on the circumstances.

What can a guardian do?

A guardian can have authority over the incapacitated individual’s property to a certain extent. Firstly, they must inventory the property and make investments without being too rash. These decisions should still be careful and frugal.

Also, the guardian could use the property to provide for the incapacitated individual’s basic needs. They must include all financial decisions in a detailed report filed with the court annually. Additionally, the guardian must seek the court’s approval for specific transactions using the individual’s property.

Aside from financial affairs, the guardian could also decide regarding medical and other care-related matters. These decisions include acquiring ideal residential arrangements that could meet the needs of the incapacitated individual.

However, a guardian’s capabilities could vary based on the situation. If the individual is only partially incapacitated, the court might only give limited rights to the guardian, depending on the initial examination.

Guardianship depends on the incapacitated individual’s needs

Some people might need guardians, and some might not. Still, it depends on whether the individual’s condition calls for guardianship. Luckily, the law sets procedures to determine incapacity based on facts and professional advice from experienced specialists.