Serious illness or an unexpected injury can leave an individual unable to communicate or make choices on his own behalf. A tragic accident or a bad medical diagnosis can leave families shaken, which makes it very difficult to cope with legal issues. Unfortunately, if someone you love becomes unable to act on his or her own behalf, you will need to take appropriate legal action to get permission to manage his affairs.
Guardianship or conservatorship make it possible for decisions to be made and assets to be managed for an incapacitated individual. Without a power of attorney created when the individual was still of sound mind and body, guardianship or conservatorship may be the only option. There is a formal court process which must be followed to be declared a guardian, and Eghrari Law Firm can help families throughout this process. Contact our Long Island, NY estate planning firm today to learn how we can assist with guardianship cases and to get answers to questions including:
- When is guardianship or conservatorship necessary?
- How can I become a guardian?
- How can Long Island guardianship lawyers help if my family member is incapacitated?
When is Guardianship or Conservatorship Necessary?
Minor children must have guardians to make decisions and provide care for them, because children do not have legal capacity to act on their own. Adults who become incapacitated will also need a guardian who can handle their financial and personal affairs for them. Conservatorship is similar to guardianship, and is a legal concept that involves electing someone who will provide care for a disabled individual.
An adult may need a guardian and/or a conservator due to physical or mental illness, or if an injury has left an individual unable to reason or communicate. The individual who is incapacitated will become a ward, and the guardian will take over.
Guardianship is not necessary if an enforceable durable power of attorney has been created. When there is a power of attorney in place, the individual who was named as the agent can begin to act when incapacity happens. Those who want to ensure they can choose the person to act for them should speak with Eghrari Law Firm while they are still in good health so they can create a power of attorney agreement.
How Can I Become A Guardian or a Conservator?
In cases where someone you love has become unable to manage his own affairs, you will need to petition the court seeking guardianship or conservatorship. It will be up to you to prove to the court that the individual is incapacitated. If the court determines that the person cannot act on his own, the individual will be declared a ward and a guardian and/or conservator will be appointed.
It is very important to realize that just because the court agrees that incapacitation necessitates guardianship or conservatorship does not necessarily mean the court will appoint a particular person as guardian. You could petition to become a loved one’s guardian, the court could have that individual declared a ward, but the court could decide to name someone else as a guardian. You must be prepared to make strong and compelling arguments both to show incapacitation and to show you are the right person to manage the affairs of the incapacitated individual.
When someone is named a guardian or conservator, that individual has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the ward. All decisions must be made to benefit the ward, and never to personally benefit the guardian or conservator. Court oversight ensures the guardian or conservator is acting appropriately in managing the affairs of the disabled or incapacitated individual.
How Can Long Island Guardianship Lawyers Help?
When someone you love is incapacitated or becomes disabled, the last thing you want to do is spend hours filling out court paperwork, preparing legal arguments, and getting ready to present a strong legal case in court. Unfortunately, taking these steps is necessary so that you can provide appropriate care for the loved one in your life who needs you.
The good news is, you do not have to handle the guardianship or the conservatorship process on your own. Eghrari Law Firm can take care of court paperwork, argument preparation and all other legal steps for you. Our Long Island, NY law firm has a long track record of helping people with guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. Our compassionate legal team will be there for you every step of the way, as we bring our experience to the table to make the process of seeking guardianship stress free. Give us a call today to learn more.