Are you in a situation where you need to become an adult guardian for another person? This is when someone is over the age of 18 years old but is unable to make decisions on their own. They may have a major disability that requires them to have assistance for the rest of their life, be in a coma, or for some other reason need another adult to help make decisions on their behalf. However, things are a bit more complicated than simply being trusted with a guardianship. Here are a few things that you need to know about adult guardianship law.
A Guardian Will Need To Be Appointed For Two Areas
Guardianship is broken down into two distinct categories. There is guardianship of the body and guardianship of the estate. The same person can be in charge of both of these positions, or it can be held by two separate people. Using two separate people is often the case when there is someone local that can take care of a person, but they trust another family member with financial decisions.
Having guardianship of the body is what it sounds like, since it allows the guardian to make medical decisions on someone's behalf. This can include general medical decisions for when the person has to go to the doctor, or more complicated medical decisions regarding their care. Being the guardian of the estate means that you can make financial decisions on the person's behalf. You can pay their bills, spend money on their needs, invest it, and basically make decisions about the things that they own.
A Judge Will Decide Who Is The Adult Guardian
Anybody can make their own wishes known about who they want to be their adult guardian. However, a judge is ultimately the person that signs off on who will be the adult guardian for the body and the estate. If someone is able to make their decision known while they are of sound body and mind, it is likely that a judge will appoint the people designated to be the guardian. Things get a bit more complicated when the person has a disability and is unable to make the decision on their own. This is when a judge steps in and will decide who is the adult guardian based on those that have stepped up to take on that role.
Reach out to an adult guardianship attorney for help setting up the necessary documents to state who you want to be your adult guardian if the need were to come up.
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