What is Guardianship Litigation?
Guardianship litigation is the legal process through which a legal guardian for an incapacitated adult is determined. When an incapacitated individual does not have a living will that states who is to be granted power of attorney for his or her needs, it is often necessary to go to court to determine that individual’s guardian. Other scenarios, such as the individual with power of attorney abusing his or her power and actively hurting the incapacitated individual through these actions, could also make guardianship litigation necessary.
Guardianship litigation is considered to be a part of probate law. If you have been granted power of attorney for an individual, want to seek guardianship of a loved one who has become incapacitated, or you feel it is necessary to contest the current terms of his or her guardianship and/or power of attorney arrangement, contact an experienced probate attorney to discuss your legal options.
What Does a Guardian Do?
A guardian makes important decisions on behalf of the incapacitated individual. These decisions include his or her financial choices, his or her medical decisions, and legal decisions. These decisions are to be made in the incapacitated individual’s best interest, achieving what he or she wants if this can be determined.
A guardian is determined by working with a probate attorney to fill out the necessary paperwork and submitting it to the court. Once the paperwork is submitted, the case goes to court. A judge then determines if the individual would be best served by having a guardian by examining his or her medical circumstances and mental ability. If the judge determines that appointing a guardian is the best choice, he or she grants guardianship rights to the applicant.
Why Would I Need Guardianship Litigation?
Sometimes, becoming your loved one’s legal guardian is more complicated than the process listed above. Your relative might have a will or medical directive that grants full or partial power of attorney rights to another individual. If this is the case, that document must be honored unless it can be proven to be fraudulent.
You could have to go to court if another relative also seeks to become your loved one’s guardian. In this case, the court examines both parties’ cases to determine the most appropriate choice. In some cases, more than one person may be granted an individual’s legal guardians, with each person taking a specific role. For example, one guardian might handle financial decisions while the other handles property decisions.
Probate Law Attorney in Winter Park
To learn more about guardianship litigation and your responsibilities as a guardian for your incapacitated loved one, contact Sperling Ducker at 407-645-3297. Aubrey Ducker Jr. is an experienced probate and elder law attorney in Winter Park who can answer all of your questions and handle your case with the sensitivity and dedication it needs. Do not wait to make the call – take action as your loved one’s advocate today by contacting our firm to schedule your free legal consultation.