Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle, PLLC provides assistance in planning to avoid guardianship, as well as in pursuing appropriate legal action when guardianship becomes necessary. Give our Northern Michigan guardianship lawyers a call today at 989-872-5601 if you want to spare your family from guardianship proceedings or if you are concerned that someone you love needs a guardian.
Guardianship is an important legal tool which makes it possible to help someone who cannot help himself. However, there are alternatives such as power of attorney, which can be preferable for many families. To get personalized advice on your situation, reach out to our legal team today. We can also answer questions you may have including:
- How does guardianship work?
- When is guardianship necessary?
- How can a Northern Michigan guardianship lawyer help me?
How Does Guardianship Work?
Guardianship is necessary if someone does not have legal capacity to manage his or her own affairs or to make his or her own decisions. Children under the age of 18 are typically in need of guardians, although parents usually fulfill this role unless they become unable to do so. Adults may also require guardians under circumstances in which physical or mental incapacity has prevented them from being able to appropriately care for themselves and their assets or affairs.
If you believe an adult in your life needs a guardian, you will need to initiate legal proceedings. The court will determine capacity and, if necessary, will appoint a guardian. The court will determine who can appropriately fulfill the role as guardian, and the guardian will have a legal duty to act in the best interests of the incapacitated person. The court can oversee the actions of the guardian in order to make certain that the guardian is appropriately acting in the interests of the person who is incapacitated.
When is Guardianship Necessary?
Guardianship is necessary if sickness or injury has left a person without the capacity to act. Unfortunately, this often means that families in the midst of a medical emergency must initiate guardianship proceedings and cope with all of the legal formalities that this entails.
It is possible to avoid this process, even in the case of incapacity, by making advanced plans in case illness or injury strikes. If you create a power of attorney, you can name someone who will act as your agent. Your agent will fulfill the role that a guardian would otherwise have to take on. Your agent can immediately begin to act on your behalf in the event of incapacity, so there is no delay in making sure your assets are managed as there would be if guardianship became necessary.
When a power of attorney has been created and an incapacity plan is in place, families are not only spared the stress and cost of guardianship proceedings but they also benefit from avoiding court involvement. While an agent still has a duty to act in the best interests of the incapacitated person, the court does not become involved in monitoring or overseeing the actions of the agent unless there is reason to believe problems have arisen. This means families can benefit from having more privacy.
If you want to make sure guardianship proceedings don’t become necessary for your family if something happens to you, you should take action and speak with a guardianship attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney can help you to follow required formalities for making an incapacity plan. For example, a power of attorney must be durable for the grant of authority to an agent to remain in effect when it is needed.
How can a Northern Michigan Guardianship Lawyer Help Me?
Biddinger, Bitzer & Estelle, PLLC provides assistance in avoiding guardianship proceedings, and we also provide representation when a need for guardianship arises. We help families in Cass City, Bad Axe, Caro, Deckerville, Reese, and surrounding areas throughout Michigan with all legal issues related to guardianship.
If your family member is incapacitated and you are concerned about who will manage their affairs, give us a call at 989-872-5601 or contact us online to speak with a member of our legal team about initiating guardianship proceedings. We will assist with the initial court process and will also help to fulfill ongoing obligations for those who are acting as guardians. Call us now to find out more about the ways in which we can assist you.