16 Nov Defending the Rights of Incapacitated Adults and Their Assets
Table Of Contents
- When someone loses the ability to make decisions
- Guardianship lawyers assist if immediate action is required
- Conservatorship and guardianship
- Appointing family members in advance
Experienced attorneys suggest that older people plan ahead so that their spouses, children, or grandkids do not have to fight the courts or jump through expensive legal hoops to care for them if they become incapable. Unfortunately, when a severe illness or injury handicaps someone, early preparation isn’t usually possible. You’ll need the counsel and help of skilled guardianship lawyers if someone you care about becomes unable to make decisions for themselves.
If an adult, child, parent, or other loved one is gravely injured in an accident or suffers from abrupt brain damage, it may be unclear who is responsible for making important decisions for them. In certain circumstances, the conclusion is self-evident; for example, a spouse can choose their husband or wife. But what if the spouse is incapable of doing so or has already died? Adult children may wind up fighting over everything from medical decisions to how an incapacitated parent’s finances should be handled. Even if the injured or ill person has the financial means to pay the costs, your options may be limited if guardianship or power of attorney is not in place. Bills will pile up in the meantime, and no one will have access to the necessary finances.
Experienced legal experts usually recommend putting particular paperwork in place before a person becomes injured or ill and cannot make sensible decisions, but this isn’t always possible. If your parents become unable to care for themselves, guardianship attorneys can petition the courts for a Temporary Emergency Guardianship. This will give you the authority to make medical decisions for your parents, as well as access to their assets and property, allowing you to manage their estate until a final guardian is chosen.
Experienced lawyers work closely with family members designated as temporary guardians to decide who is the best long-term decision-maker for an incapacitated loved one’s estate. A lawyer may be required if the family or the courts cannot agree on the appropriate person for the job. As lawyers put together a plan that is best for the disabled individual, often known as the “ward”, numerous questions may naturally arise:
- Who would be the best person to make medical and personal decisions for the ward?
- Who can best manage the impaired person’s cash and investments?
- Should the loved one’s medical and financial decisions both be made by the same person?
- Is the court-appointed guardian taking into account the individual’s wishes?
Being a guardian for someone you care about may be quite stressful, especially if other members of your family disagree on how your parent or loved one should be cared for. A sibling or cousin with whom you were formerly friendly could file a lawsuit to challenge the guardianship. To avoid complications, experienced attorneys often recommend appointing two distinct family members. In certain situations, a guardian is set to make personal and medical choices for the ward, such as what kind of medical care is needed and where the ward should live. On the other hand, money matters would be managed through a conservatorship, which entrusts the incompetent person’s funds and property to another person.
Nobody can predict what the future may bring. If you find yourself in the unexpected situation of making critical decisions for a loved one, contact an expert attorney as soon as possible. Guardianship lawyers can help you navigate the court system, reducing hassles and allowing you to focus on your loved one’s well-being.
To find out more about defending the rights of incapacitated individuals, give McGuinty Law in Ottawa a call at (613) 526-3858.