Dealing with loved ones who become disabled carries a number of stresses and concerns for family members. These people can no longer care for themselves and may need a great deal of help doing the most basic daily tasks. They may not even be able to make decisions for themselves. When this happens, guardianship may need to be set up to handle the problem. Learn how to set up guardianship for a disabled loved one, the steps to take, and how to ensure their needs are taken care of while protecting their estate.
File a Petition
The first step in establishing guardianship for a disabled loved one is to file a petition with the courts. This petition will provide an overview and outline as to why guardianship is needed, who will take on the duties, and their contact information.
The outline should also include information about physicians, visitors and other notable people who will take part in the person’s care. You must also notify all interested parties about the petition. This can include their children, parents, or spouse, among others.
As you pursue legal guardianship, there will be two additional parties who will have to file reports. These are the physician and the visitor. The physician will visit the incapacitated person and interview them to determine their degree of competence and ability to care for themselves. The visitor will conduct interviews with you, with the doctor, with the guardian or petition filer (if not you), and will look at the disabled person’s home.
Both the doctor and visitor will then compile reports, which will be filed with the courts. These will be important in establishing whether the person needs a guardian and whether the chosen person is qualified to take on the responsibility.
Formal Hearings and Guardianship Letters
After everything has been properly filed and notices tendered, a hearing will be held. At this time the judge will question you about the need for guardianship and your intentions. If the courts agree, you will be issued letters of guardianship which act as legal proof of your established status.
Guardianship for a Disabled Loved One
There are certain responsibilities that go along with guardianship for a disabled loved one. You will need to file annual reports on the disabled person’s condition. These reports must also be served to any interested party that was named in the initial petition.
There are certain other aspects of asset planning that should be under taken. A person in need of guardianship may, for example, need to issue medical and financial power of attorney to their guardian, to ensure that bills are paid, medical decisions are made, and their estate properly cared for.
Proper asset planning and protection requires the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. Tanko Law has many years of experience protecting the assets of elderly people and conducting estate planning in Montana. If you need help in this area, we are ready to get started. Give us a call for more information today!