When a person is no longer able to make good, sound decisions in their own best interest, it can be necessary to take decision-making power away from that person for their own protection. When a court intervenes, the most intrusive way to help will be taken. In cases like this, a court will appoint a guardian, which is someone assigned to make decisions on behalf of the protected person, called the ward.

Guardianship can be appointed for many different reasons. Sometimes, a parent allows another family member to have guardianship of the child if they're unable to take care of a child. If the child's parents both die, it will be necessary for the court to appoint a guardian. Elderly people with dementia, no longer able to make wise choices, are also appointed guardians. Also, people with physical, emotional, mental, or developmental disabilities can have a guardian established when the court determines the individual cannot make sound decisions and is necessary to protect the subject's welfare. It is best to apply for a guardianship before a person's situation worsens. This also allows for a discussion if a guardianship is necessary or a power of attorney will suffice.

Types of Guardianship

There are three types of guardianship. Guardianship of a person, guardianship of property and guardianship of both a person and property. The guardian is responsible for making day-to-day decisions the ward would normally make regarding issues of personal welfare.

Guardianship of a Person

With guardianship of a person, you will be overseeing the ward's important decisions, such as a decision to have surgery. This guardian will also be responsible for ensuring the ward has groceries, too.

Guardianship of Property

A property guardian is responsible for managing the ward's property alone. In those situations, the guardian will not make decisions about the ward's personal welfare, only their assets, including whether or not large purchases can be made. Also, the guardian will make decisions on how to invest money.

Guardianship of a Person and Property

A guardian of both person and property will make decisions regarding the ward's personal welfare and responsibilities, as well as about the ward's assets. This guardianship is also called a plenary guardian.

Schedule a Consultation to Discuss Guardianship

If you are in a situation where you believe someone needs to have a guardian appointed, reach out to Susan for the best legal advice. Call us at (586) 801-3558 to discuss the situation and schedule that initial consultation.