You might want to become a guardian under state law for many reasons. You may wish to be the caretaker for a juvenile family member or act on behalf of an adult loved one who can no longer care for themselves. In either scenario, the guidance of a dedicated estate planning attorney could be invaluable.

There are specific steps you must take before you can serve in this capacity. Before you petition the court on your own, speaking with legal counsel could benefit you. An Upper Marlboro guardianship lawyer could answer your questions and assist you with the process.

When Is Guardianship Necessary?

For the most part, courts will avoid placing someone under the care of another unless it is a last resort. The law values the ability to be independent and make decisions, so a judge will only take those rights away when necessary.

For the court to assign a guardianship, they must first determine that the proposed ward is disabled. This legal term means a person cannot make and communicate reasonable decisions regarding their life and well-being. A person might be considered disabled due to disease, mental disability, drug addiction, or being a juvenile.

The party petitioning the court to serve in this role has the burden of proof. They must be able to show that the proposed ward is disabled to the point that they cannot safely care for themselves. A judge will often appoint an independent party to evaluate someone to determine if they agree they are disabled. Meeting this burden can be challenging without the help of an Upper Marlboro or Largo guardianship attorney.

Duties of a Guardian

Serving in this capacity is carefully regulated and comes with several responsibilities. These controls are essential given the broad discretion a guardian can have over the life and finances of their ward, and a skilled Upper Marlboro attorney could help a person in this situation understand their responsibilities.

These duties depend on the type of guardianship awarded. The court has the ability to hand out power over the person or their estate. The difference is that one option covers details like medical decisions and end-of-life care for their ward. Holding responsibility over the estate means the right to manage investments or make other financial matters. Often, one person is awarded both of these obligations.

Understanding the Right to a Hearing

Before a judge grants a petition for guardianship, they will require a hearing with the interested parties. This includes the people seeking the order and the proposed ward. They have an opportunity to support or oppose the appointment of a guardian.

At these hearings, a judge usually relies on a third-party expert to evaluate a person to determine if they are truly disabled. They will report to the court to ensure a clear picture of whether this extraordinary step is necessary. An Upper Marlboro attorney could assist with every aspect of the guardianship hearing.

Reach Out to a Guardianship Attorney in Upper Marlboro Today

Asking for the courts to step in and assist a beloved family member who can no longer meet their own needs is rarely easy. This can be particularly challenging when it comes to providing for a parent.

When you are in this situation, contact an Upper Marlboro guardianship lawyer for help. Contact Carmiece Graves Law to set up a consultation to discuss your case.