Guardianship provides a legal solution for a person who has grown concerned that a loved one is physically or mentally sick and cannot make decisions on his own any more.
You do not want to watch your family member or friend make bad decisions because of dementia or lose his life savings because he is in a hospital with an end-stage illness and cannot manage his assets. Guardianship ensures that you don’t have to sit helplessly by in these or other situations where someone you care about needs your help.
If someone in your life cannot manage his own affairs, act of his own accord, or make reasoned decisions due to illness or injury, you may need to initiate guardianship proceedings to take control. Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. can help. Give us a call today to get answers to questions including:
Is guardianship necessary?
How does guardianship work?
How can a Reno, NV guardianship lawyer help me?
Is Guardianship Necessary?
Far too often, people are suddenly stricken by physical or mental illness. Sudden injuries also occur more than most people want to think about. A person who gets sick or hurt may be left unable to do things like decide where to live or make any choices on asset management.
Ideally, a plan will be in place before incapacity happens. A person who plans ahead can use a tool called power of attorney (POA) to name an agent who will take over decision-making for the POA-creator when illness or injury strikes.
Other tools can also be used to plan for incapacity, including advanced directives for healthcare. Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. helps with the creation of a comprehensive incapacity plan.
If there is no plan, guardianship can become the only choice. With guardianship, an incapacitated person can no longer decide who should act for him. Instead, guardianship proceedings must be initiated so the court can give power to the guardian.
Guardianship can also be necessary outside of emergency situations, too. For example, all children under 18 need guardians because they don’t have the capacity to act. Unless parents pass away, are unfit, or give up up parental rights, parents are guardians until a child is 18 or is granted emancipation.
If a person is disabled all his life, parents can continue to be guardians even after the child is an adult. However, parents of the special-needs child will need to make appropriate provisions for a guardian after they are gone.
How Does Guardianship Work?
If you believe guardianship has become necessary, the first step to take is to talk with a Reno guardianship lawyer. Your attorney can assist you in determining if guardianship is appropriate under the circumstances. Your guardianship lawyer will also begin working to conduct an investigation, if necessary, to prove incapacity. Finally, your attorney can take care of filing papers with the court to ask the court to appoint a guardian.
When you ask the court to appoint a guardian for another person, you must prove several different things to the court.
You have to show a guardian is actually needed because the “ward’ (the person who needs the guardian), is in fact unable to act on his own. The court will determine competency and will provide the allegedly incapacitated person a chance to argue not to have a guardian appointed.
After the court makes a decision that a person is not competent, the court will next consider who should be a guardian. The court does not have to choose the person who initiated guardianship proceedings. The court should select the person believed to be the best choice for managing the affairs of the incapacitated person. Leaving this decision up to court control is another reason why making advanced incapacity plans is so important— you want to decide, not a random judge who does not know you.
After a guardian is appointed, the guardian can begin to exercise authority in order to determine what must be done to help the incapacitated person. There will be regular court oversight of the guardianship relationship to ensure that the guardian is fulfilling his role.
How can a Reno, NV Guardianship Lawyer Help Me?
Anderson, Dorn & Rader, Ltd. can provide the help you need to address difficulty issues in your life, such as planning ahead in case of incapacity or responding in situations where someone you care about has become incapacitated and needs a guardian. Give us a call at 775-823-9455 or contact us online to find out more about how we can help you.
Understanding what a guardianship is, as well as what is required to establish one, can be extremely helpful in deciding whether or not a guardianship is necessary.
Topics covered in this whitepaper include: