Everything You Need to Know About Guardianships 

A guardian is someone who is legally responsible for the care and management of another person, that person’s estate, or both. Depending on the type of guardianship, a guardian may be in charge of multiple facets of another person’s life or estate.

Let’s review what you need to know about guardianships.

What is the purpose of a guardianship?

A legal guardian can have many duties, but they are generally meant to fill the role of caretaker for another person. The legal guardian is usually expected to make decisions about the day-to-day life of an individual who has been determined to be an “incapacitated person.”

Why would someone need a guardian?

There are a number of reasons why someone may need to be appointed a guardian. Some of the usual cases include:

  • Developmentally disabled adults
  • Elderly adults deemed incapacitated

Essentially guardians are appointed for an individual that is not capable of taking care of themselves in some way.

Guardians are required to ensure the well-being of the incapacitated individual. A guardian may have different responsibilities, depending on the needs of the individual under guardianship.

What are a guardian’s responsibilities?

A guardian makes decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person, but guardians may be limited to certain areas. For example, a guardian could be in charge of an individual’s assets but are not in a position of power to make medical decisions for them.

In other situations, a legal guardian may be granted full power to make financial and health decisions for the incapacitated person.

The judge will determine what the guardian can do, and responsibilities will be based on the individual’s needs.

Some possible duties of the guardian can include:

How does someone get a guardianship?

  • Making medical decisions
  • Paying bills
  • Investing money
  • Buying or selling property
  • Filing taxes
  • Managing finances
  • Providing household necessities

The first step is petitioning the court and providing the necessary evidence to establish that a person is incapacitated. Once it is determined that an individual is incapable of making their own decisions, a judge will appoint a guardian and assign responsibilities to the guardian.

Taking away someone’s control of their money or medical decisions is a serious decision, therefore, judges will insist on thorough evidence and accurate testimony to ensure that a person is incapacitated.

It may not be easy to get guardianship if someone contests it. They may not believe the person is incapacitated or they believe there is a different person that would be better as a guardian.

Obtaining guardianship is not always an easy process even if you have an uncontested guardianship petition. It’s crucial to choose guardianship lawyers that understand the process, especially since the laws are different in each state.

If you are looking to become a guardian or want to have someone appointed as guardian in the Lebanon, PA area, you want to choose guardianship attorneys that are experienced. Henry & Beaver can help you file the necessary paperwork and ensure that you have a smooth experience in becoming a guardian. Contact our office today to schedule a consultation, or call our office at 717-274-3644.