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Navigating Guardianship For Your Elderly Loved Ones

Last updated on June 18, 2024

When your cherished family members can no longer make decisions for themselves, guardianship may become a necessary legal step to help ensure their well-being and protection.

Elder Law & Estate Planning Solutions is a boutique law firm in North Carolina that focuses on estate planning law. With decades of combined client-focused experience, we cater to individuals and families with a range of elder law needs in Concord. Led by attorney Marjorie Brown, the only lawyer in Cabarrus County focused on elder law, we provide compassionate, personalized legal guidance for all your guardianship needs.

The Guardianship Basics

Guardianship is a legal arrangement that grants an individual or entity the authority to make decisions on behalf of someone who is no longer capable of managing their affairs. The two main types of guardianship include:

  • Guardianship of the person: Focuses on personal and healthcare decisions
  • Guardianship of the estate: Manages financial and property matters

Guardianship becomes necessary when an elderly individual lacks the mental capacity to make sound decisions.

Guardianship Process

Obtaining guardianship involves several legal steps:

  • Filing a petition with the court
  • Notifying interested parties
  • Court appointment of a guardian ad litem
  • Medical evaluation of the proposed ward
  • A court hearing to determine the capacity
  • Appointment of a guardian

The process may take several months and requires extensive documentation.

Rights And Responsibilities Of Guardians

Guardians have a duty to act in the best interests of their ward, including:

  • Making health care decisions
  • Managing finances and property
  • Providing for the ward’s basic needs
  • Reporting regularly to the court

The ward retains certain rights, such as the right to be treated with dignity and to have their preferences considered when possible.

Alternatives To Guardianship

Less restrictive alternatives to guardianship include:

  • A durable power of attorney
  • Health care proxy
  • Living trusts

These options can often provide necessary protections while preserving an individual’s autonomy.

Work With Us

Your specific legal situation in Concord requires the best options for your loved one’s care and protection. Contact Elder Law & Estate Planning Solutions at 704-859-8998 or email to arrange a consultation.