There are many circumstances where it may be necessary for someone to manage the personal and financial affairs of another adult. Perhaps a parent or grandparent has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a similar condition that leaves them unable to manage their affairs. Perhaps someone has grown up cognitively challenged, and even upon reaching adulthood, it is clear that they need someone else to look after them legally and financially.
Whatever the circumstances, a guardianship case may be required. The attorneys at Granholm & Gynac in Joliet are experienced in helping individuals obtain disabled adult guardianships. These cases are actually comprised of two different types of potential stewardship:
- Guardianship of the Person. When someone has been appointed Guardian of the Person of someone, they are responsible for managing the day-to-day care of that person. A guardian of the person makes decisions regarding the “support, care, comfort, health and education” of the ward under their care.
- Guardianship of the Estate. A Guardian of the Estate is responsible for managing a ward’s finances. That includes handling their bank accounts, paying bills, managing investments, and otherwise controlling and disbursing a disabled person’s money in a prudent and responsible way.
Most of the time, although not always, a single person will be appointed both as Guardian of the Person and Guardian of the Estate of a particular disabled person. When appropriate, however, the roles can be divided amongst different individuals.
It’s important to note that having a Power of Attorney for Medical and/or Property is not the same as having guardianship. In many cases, there are limitations as to what powers of attorney can accomplish, and a guardianship may still be necessary to manage the affairs of the disabled ward.
Becoming a Guardian for a Disabled Adult
Granholm & Gynac can help when the times comes to obtain a guardianship over a loved one who is disabled and no longer able to care for themselves. Our lawyers will assist in filing the correct paperwork with the courts to initiate such proceedings, as well as help you as the prospective guardian with each step of the process required to approve a disabled adult guardianship.
As part of proceedings, the court will usually require a written opinion from a physician regarding the prospective ward’s mental condition and inability to manage their own affairs. The court may also appoint an attorney as guardian ad litem (GAL) to investigate the circumstances of the disabled ward. This includes making a home visit and interviewing the proposed guardian and other relevant parties.
Obtaining guardianship over a disabled adult can be a daunting undertaking, but with an experienced lawyer, the process can be made much easier.