A Guardianship is an legal arrangement formed when someone is legally appointed and authorized to handle the personal and/or financial affairs of another individual. The process begins with a court proceeding brought by a petitioner who may be concerned about an elderly relative, friend or neighbor who doesn’t appear to be caring for him or herself properly. The petitioner may also desire to be the guardian of the person they are concerned about, or the petitioner may want to hire a professional guardian to take care of the person.
A Guardianship is a fiduciary relationship between a trustee and a beneficiary. A guardianship may be limited to personal affairs or health care decisions, or it may be a full guardianship in which the legal guardian oversees every aspect of the person’s life — where they will live, medical care, and management of income and assets. Guardianships are often commonly used by parents of disabled children when their children become adults but are not able to make financial or personal decisions on their own because of their disability.
After the initiation of court proceedings, the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem (GAL) is made,. The GAL can be thought of as the “eyes and ears of the court”. The GAL conducts extensive research into the living and financial situation of the Alleged Incapacitated Person (AIP); determining first, whether a guardianship is necessary to protect the well-being of the AIP, and second, whether the proposed guardian would be the appropriate person to protect the AIP’s interests. Additionally, the GAL may appoint a medical professional to conduct a physical and/or psychological evaluation of the AIP.
Guardianship litigation can be very complicated and the stakes are usually quite high. Well experienced in Guardianship Law, Walton, Theiler & Winegarden can provide the legal guidance necessary with your guardianship case. Our attorneys have successfully represented many individuals in Guardianship matters.
Contact Walton, Theiler & Winegarden, LLC to setup a consult with an attorney specialized in Guardianship Law.
Phone: (907) 283-5774