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Guardianship

A guardianship is a legal relationship created when a person or institution is named in a will or assigned by the court to take care of minor children or incompetent adults.

You may have a need to establish a guardianship relationship if someone you know is elderly and not capable of taking care of themself, is receiving services for mental illness or a developmental disability, or is suffering from substance abuse and is not capable of taking care of themself.

Stellpflug Law, S.C., attorneys are able to assist you with many types of guardianship. You will feel confident and assured as you are guided through the guardianship process.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if I need a guardian for an adult?
It may be necessary to petition the court to appoint a legal guardian for a person if:
  • They have a physical or mental problem that prevents them from taking care of their own basic needs.
  • As a result of the above they are in danger of substantial harm; and
  • They do not have a person already legally authorized to assume responsibility for them.
Under some circumstances, it may be necessary for a court to appoint an emergency guardian, who can act on a person’s behalf during a crisis (such as immediately following a car accident) until they regain their ability to make their own decision

What are a guardian's responsibilities?
A guardian may make decisions about how the person lives, including their residence, health care, food, and social activity. A guardian is supposed to consider the wishes of the incapacitated person, as well as their previously established values, when making these living decisions. The guardian’s purpose is to monitor the legally incapacitated person, to make sure that the person lives in the most appropriate, least restrictive environment possible, with appropriate food, clothing, social opportunities, and medical care.

How can I avoid guardianship?
It is possible to avoid the necessity of a guardianship through estate planning. A good estate plan will include a medical power of attorney, which will enable a trusted individual to make health care decisions for you in the event of incapacity, and a general durable power of attorney to permit a trusted individual to manage your personal affairs. These documents can specify how you wish to live, and how you wish to be treated, in the event of disability.

What is the difference between a guardianship and a conservatorship?
A guardianship is a legal right given to a person to be responsible for the food, health care, housing, and other necessities of a person deemed fully or partially incapable of providing these necessities for himself or herself.

A conservatorship is a legal right given to a person to be responsible for the assets and finances of a person deemed fully or partially incapable of providing these necessities for himself or herself.

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