When it’s necessary to seek guardianship for a loved one, often an elderly parent or disabled family member, this can be a difficult decision. There’s a lot of responsibility involved. Washington residents who find themselves in this situation will want to get advice and assistance from a Family Lawyer in Silverdale WA.
What is a Guardianship?
Every guardianship is unique, but the overall purpose is to protect those who are most vulnerable from financial exploitation and abuse. A guardian manages the finances and/or makes medical decisions for someone who cannot do that for themselves.
A guardian is given the authority by the court to make those decisions allowed by the guardianship. The guardian may be allowed to make all decisions for the ward or only some decisions.
Alternatives to Guardianship
If there is another appropriate alternative to a guardianship, that solution will be preferred. Durable powers of attorney, living trusts or health care documents may meet the needs of an incapacitated person. However, any of these documents must be executed while the individual is mentally capable of doing so.
How Does Someone Become a Guardian?
* The proposed guardian files a petition with the court.
* A guardian ad litem investigates the situation.
* The ward (person who needs a guardian), caregivers and family members are notified of the petition.
* After the investigation by the guardian ad litem is concluded, a report will be sent to interested parties.
* A hearing is held before a judge who will listen to testimony and decide matters of guardianship, including the appointment of a guardian, who
should hold that post, how much authority the guardian will hold and whether the guardian will need to post a bond.
* The entire process takes up to two months.
Records Must be Kept for the Court
The first task of a guardian is to file an inventory of all assets belonging to the ward and a personal care plan with the court. A guardian must keep accurate and complete records, accounting for all of the ward’s income and expenses. A yearly report must be filed with the court. When the guardianship ends, a final account must be submitted.
When you need a Family Lawyer in Silverdale WA, contact Lindsay & Lindsay. In addition to guardianship matters, these experienced attorneys handle divorces, probate and estate planning, adoptions and paternity matters. Visit their website to contact them and schedule an appointment to discuss your legal issue.
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