When a loved one becomes unable to care for himself and needs help, it’s important to families to understand how they can provide personal and financial help as a guardian for their incapacitated loved one. Many people are under the mistaken impression that their spouse or adult children can automatically take over for them in case they become incapacitated. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
BCN Family Law Attorneys have helped many families deal with the responsibilities of a loved one who is no longer able to handle his or her own affairs.
A guardian is appointed by the court to handle an incapacitated person’s personal affairs, while a conservator is appointed to handle his financial affairs. Only a judge is qualified to decide if a person is incapacitated and if he or she has a need for a guardian and/or conservator. The determination begins when a family member/loved one/close friend claims a person is incapacitated.
A petition is then filed in Circuit Court and a guardian ad litem is appointed to evaluate the person and make a recommendation. Then, a hearing is held so all of the parties involved can present evidence.
Consideration is given by the court to any limitations of the person, whether he or she needs to be protected from abuse or potential abuse, whether there are alternatives to guardianship and what will be in the person’s best interest. The court will also look at the person seeking guardianship or conservatorship and whether that person is the best option for that role. The judge considers all the information presented and then either approves the guardianship and chooses a guardian, or dismisses the case.
If you have a family member, loved one or close friend who is no longer able to care for him or herself personally or financially, come to BCN Law Firm for a free consultation*. We can help you understand your options and take the steps needed to provide peace-of-mind.