Reese guardianship attorneys help families through the guardianship process. Guardianship becomes necessary in circumstances where a person does not have legal capacity to manage his or her own affairs. Children, of course, need guardians and a guardian may need to be appointed if parents cannot care for them. Adults may also need a guardian to be appointed if they become physically or mentally unable to care for themselves. If this happens, Biddinger & Bitzer can help families to go through the guardianship process so the court can appoint a guardian or conservator to act on behalf of the incapacitated person.
Guardianship can be a difficult, burdensome process for families in the middle of a time of grief when a loved one has become sick or hurt and needs a guardian. It is often best if advanced plans can be made so guardianship can be avoided in favor of other alternatives, like a power of attorney. If you are planning ahead for your future and you don’t want your loved ones to be forced to go to court to have a guardian named for you, you can work with our legal team to make an incapacity plan so guardianship won’t be necessary.
Pros and Cons of Guardianship
The biggest benefit associated with guardianship is that guardianship makes it possible for someone to be appointed to act on behalf of an incapacitated person when no other plans are in place. When someone has become incapacitated, it is too late to use any other approaches to ensure that person’s decisions can be made by a trusted, responsible person. Guardianship is vital and necessary to ensure that someone is looking out for the interests of the incapacitated person and taking care of getting that person’s needs met. When a guardian is appointed, that person has a fiduciary duty to act on behalf of the incapacitated person (who is called a ward). This means the guardian must act in the ward’s best interests.
When a guardian is appointed, the court also oversees the actions taken by the guardian on behalf of the incapacitated person. If the guardian is not fulfilling his fiduciary duty, the court can step in. This is another form of protection provided to vulnerable people who need someone acting on their behalf.
Of course, there are some downsides to guardianship as well — both for the incapacitated person and for family members. One big downside is that the court appoints the guardian, and the court has no way of knowing who the ward would have preferred to act on his behalf. If an advanced incapacity plan is made, a power of attorney can be used to determine who will act in case of incapacity. The creator of the power of attorney gets to select, in advance, who acts for him instead of the court doing it. The creation of an advanced incapacity plan thus ensures that the person appointed guardian is someone the incapacitated person trusted to respect his wishes and values.
If an incapacity plan is made and decisions are made in advance on who will act on behalf of an incapacitated person, this also has another benefit as well: there will be no delay in determining who makes decisions or takes action. If guardianship proceedings must be completed before someone is given authority to act, this can lead to a period of uncertainty over who is in charge of making decisions. Assets could be mismanaged during this period, and families often end up fighting over what the incapacitated person would have wanted. All of this can be avoided if alternative plans are made so guardianship is not necessary and a trusted agent can step in right away to begin acting on the incapacitated person’s behalf.
Getting Help from a Reese Guardianship Attorneys
Reese guardianship attorneys at Biddinger & Bitzer can provide you with assistance when you believe a loved one needs a guardian. If your family member or friend is incapacitated and you believe someone needs to be appointed to act on his behalf, you should act as quickly as possible to get the guardianship process underway.
Our legal team serves clients throughout Michigan’s shoreline communities who need help with guardianship issues. We can bring our legal experience to your situation to help you to ensure your loved one has a trusted person making decisions when he no longer can. To find out more about how our firm can help you, give us a call at (989) 872-5601 or contact us online today.