While it’s not something that many of us like to talk about, there are times when a loved one is unable to make financial decisions on their own. In these cases, it important to have a guardianship in place, to ensure your loved one’s financial wishes are fully carried out.
Guardianship essentially guarantees caregiver rights. In the event that a minor child or adult close friend or family member is not able to adequately take care of their own finances, this is a legal option to avoid misunderstanding and complication. It covers medical and personal decision making, as well as the possibility of financial control.
When your loved one becomes disabled, incapacitated, experiences drastic changes in mental capacity, and other factors, this legal option empowers the guardian to safeguard assets, ensure the proper management of finances, and provide for proper care.
Here’s what you need to know about guardianships:
Why is Guardianship Necessary?
It’s difficult to pinpoint when a loved one will require guardianship services. For many people, this is an uncomfortable topic to breach, and can even result in a heated discussion. However, it’s essential to have a plan in place before it’s too late.
In basic terms, guardianship is necessary when your loved one is no longer able to manage their financial resources on their own due to mental or cognitive illness (which includes dementia), drug abuse that has impaired cognitive function, and other factors.
There are three main categories of guardianship. Guardianship of the person allows the guardian to make financial decisions related to healthcare, legal, and other factors. Guardianship of the property allows the guardian to take custody and control of assets for the benefit of that person. A plenary guardian is both a guardian of the person and estate.
What is the Guardianship Process?
A guardian is a court-ordered person who has legal rights to make financial decisions for others. This can be a family member, close friend, attorney, or another individual. Guardians manage estates and personal property, including assets, bank accounts, and bill payments. It also covers other financial decisions such as medical share, shelter, food and clothing, and other factors of daily life.
Gaining guardianship is not an easy process. It involves filing legal applications, compiling expert documentation, court hearings, and more. This is not something that is easily performed on your own. That’s why it’s important to consult with a qualified Daytona Beach attorney, who can help guide you along the way.
Get More Information
Guardianship should be viewed as a last resort since the legally-binding decision affects many legal rights of your loved one. It’s beneficial to speak with your Daytona Beach attorney to get details on guardianship, and how to move forward with the process, should you decide to do so.
With almost 40 years' experience serving the people of Central Florida, we’re proud to offer legal advice in which you can trust. We specialize in guardianship, estate planning, and real estate legal issues. Contact us today to begin a conversation on how we can help you plan for your family’s future.