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Guardian and Conservatorship Law

Do you need help setting up a guardianship to protect a family member or loved one? Guardianship is a legal process designed to protect and execute the rights of a person who is deemed incapacitated and can no longer make their own decisions. Guardianship applies when that person has not made any plans for this situation in advance or when people are in conflict about the decisions being made by the caregivers or agents under a Durable Financial Power of Attorney or designation of Health Care Representative.

Guardianship attorneys advise you about the process of obtaining guardianship and the type of legal and welfare decisions you can make as a legal guardian. Whether you need guidance with guardianship paperwork or representation once the guardian is appointed, a guardianship lawyer will advise you of your legal rights.

Why hire a Guardianship attorney

Our Guardianship attorneys generally see two types of guardianship cases. Some cases involve the unfortunate situation where parents are unable to adequately care for a minor child (regrettably, addictions often play a role in many of these cases, as do death, abandonment, abuse, or neglect).

Other cases may involve an adult (i.e. over the age of 18) who is found to be physically and/or mentally incapacitated and unable to take care of themselves, either temporarily or permanently. Incapacity can be brought about by illness or accident. Incapacity is determined by the Court, and must be established by clear and convincing evidence through professional examination of physical and mental health, and a functional assessment.

A Guardianship may be needed when a person is taken advantage of by others. There are many cases where close relatives or friends or caretakers attempt to wrongfully influence an incapacitated person to gain control over their assets. This is known as undue influence.  In these situations a Court can appoint a Temporary Guardian and can immediately restrain or freeze an incapacitated person’s bank accounts or other assets to preserve them until the Court can have a full hearing.

Either situation requires experienced legal representation. The law allows the court to appoint someone to make legal and welfare decisions for these individuals, depending on the situation, a legal guardian may be appointed as a limited decision-maker or an all-purpose decision-maker. For example, nursing home residents may need a general legal guardian to make all their welfare decisions for them.

Drescher & Cheslow lawyers patiently advise you about the appropriate legal guardianship for your particular circumstances. We also help with guardianship forms and other legal paperwork, and represent the Guardian once one is appointed. Unlike larger firms that can be impersonal in nature, we offer dedicated attorneys and a team of friendly staff members who work closely with clients to identify their goals and pursue their objectives. Regardless of whether we are drafting a will, helping a client move an estate through the probate process or assisting with guardianship proceedings, we are dedicated to the pursuit of quality results and service.

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