Sometimes people wait too long to address issues that may arise when they or a loved one become incapacitated:
  • An older person who has not provided for incapacity by means of a comprehensive durable power of attorney
  • A disabled young person whose disability may lead him or her to make personally or financially unwise decisions, such as improvidently purchasing a car that he or she cannot afford, or cannot drive.
  • Disabled persons who are financially exploited.

In such situations, a guardianship may be the best solution. In some cases, it may be the only way to help the disabled individual provide for his or her own needs.

What Is a Guardianship?
Guardianship is the court proceeding that determines whether an individual is incapable of handling his or her personal or financial affairs. If so, the court appoints a guardian for the individual. The role of the guardian is to protect the rights and property of this individual.

Guardianships are useful for a number of circumstances, and can be tailored to meet very specific needs. Options extend from limited guardianships for either the individual or the individual's estate, with limited authorities granted, all the way to full guardianships of both the person and the estate. In all cases, the court oversees the plans, annual accounts, and reports.

A guardian files regular reports to the court concerning all financial activity in the guardianship estate and concerning the status of the person who is the subject of the guardianship. A guardianship continues until terminated by court order.

When You Need Assistance
If you are contemplating the need for a guardianship for someone you care about, Mary can help with evaluating the alternatives, and in establishing and maintaining a guardianship to fit the individual's unique circumstances.