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A Guardianship may be required for anyone who is faced with incapacity due to a medical condition but who does not have a Financial and Health Care Power of Attorney in place. Guardianship can also be necessary when a child with a developmental disability turns 18 and becomes a legal adult. In either case, the family needs to ask the court to appoint a guardian who can make decisions and take care of medical and financial affairs.

Advising a family seeking guardianship involves working through issues related to the particular situation and how the guardian, care providers and possible government benefits will coordinate. It also includes:

preparing a written petition for the court;

scheduling a court hearing and arranging for proper notice to interested persons;

coordinating with a Guardian ad Litem appointed by the court;

appearing at the court hearings and preparing the necessary court orders and letters for guardianship; and

assisting with any inventories and accountings required by the court.

The entire process of appointing a guardian does take some time. However, there are many opportunities to address pressing issues and immediate needs for the family while the court proceedings follow their course.

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This is not legal advice or tax advice, pursuant to disclaimer.
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