The Role of Guardianships in Protecting Vulnerable Loved Ones

During times of incapacity, long term illness, or disability, sometimes it becomes essential to have a guardian appointed to allow for the continued care and maintenance of a loved one. The appointment of a guardian creates legal authority for that person to make personal care, health care, mental health care, and limited financial decisions for the person or loved one who needs assistance.

If the court determines the person or loved one is in need of a guardian, and that the appointment of a guardian would be in their best interest, the guardian is vested with the necessary authority to make decisions to serve that person’s personal, medical and limited financial needs.

Generally, there are two circumstances that may require the appointment of a Guardian:

  • Vulnerable/incapacitated adults — These guardianship cases are filed in Probate Court. A vulnerable or incapacitated adult is a person that has been examined by a medical doctor who has determined the adult lacks sufficient capacity to make important decision (i.e. personal, medical, financial) for themselves. In these circumstances, the vulnerable or incapacitated adult may have recently developed a condition or has experiences an escalation of a condition, which contributes to a decline in their abilities to care for themselves. This guardianship process also applies to adolescents reaching the age of majority (18 years) who have been in the continued care of their parents due to a lifelong disability, and lack the ability to provide for themselves and the capacity to make personal, health and financial decisions for themselves. In these instances, it is essential for the parents or legal guardians to be appointed as a legal guardian upon reaching the age of 18 to have the continued control and decision making authority for the benefit of that incapacitated young adult.
  • Vulnerable children – Guardianship cases involving children under the age of 18 are filed in Juvenile Court. Within the scope of a juvenile guardianship, the child in need of a guardian may be without a parent due to death, abandonment, or loss of parental rights. The authority of person seeking guardianship may be granted by the consent of biological parents or prior guardians, appointment in a Will, or permission granted through child protective service channels. If the Juvenile Court deems that it is in the child’s best interest to have a guardian appointed, the guardian is authorized to make personal care, health care, educational and financial decisions for the minor.

Professional Guidance to Understand the Important Role of Guardians

At Lincoln & Wenk, PLLC, we are committed to aiding our clients to fully understand the important role of a guardian, for both adults and minors. Our dedication to professional and personalized service provides our clients with a tailored strategy to understand and implement a guardianship for the benefit of their loved one.

Please review our testimonials to learn more about how we treat our clients.

Guardianship Attorneys Serving Goodyear, Peoria And The Entire Phoenix Area

For effective representation that can help you secure the outcomes you need in guardianship proceedings, turn to Lincoln & Wenk, PLLC. To schedule an initial consultation, call 623-748-4890 or contact us online.