Guardianship is a legal process by which a court appoints a representative for a person with a disability to make personal and/or financial decisions on his or her behalf. If the person with a disability did not previously execute powers of attorney or other estate planning documents naming a representative, or if the representative is acting inappropriately, pursuing legal guardianship can be an advantageous way, and sometimes the only way, to protect the disabled person's welfare. Once a guardian is appointed, the court continues to act for the disabled person's best interests and oversees the decisions of the guardian.
In addition to disabled adults' estates, our firm regularly represents family members and other parties in minor guardianship cases. Guardianship of a minor is appropriate when the minor has a parent who is unable to make and carry out day-to-day child care decisions or when the minor has received significant funds from sources such as an inheritance or a lawsuit.
Guardianship practice is a broad and complex area of law. Woods & Bates can help guide you through this process and work toward your desired outcome.