When should one hire a guardianship lawyer to obtain guardianship? Given the important issues involved, one should always get legal guidance.
The legal effect of guardianship is to take away a person’s legal right to make his or her own decisions. Courts won’t do do this if there is a less restrictive alternative.
Just because you file to be appointed legal guardian does not mean the court will appoint you. The court could appoint an attorney or someone else.
Are you prepared to answer the court’s questions and convince the court you are a suitable, or the best person to serve as the disabled person’s legal guardian?
Family fighting over money and misunderstandings can make life very stressful for everyone, create anger and cloud one’s judgment. Emotional reactions lead to hurtful comments and poor decisions that make matters worse. The person that ends up suffering the most is the disabled person.
An experienced guardianship lawyer, like Rob Goldman, who has over 30 years of experience, which includes court ordered mediation in guardianship cases, can provide objective, legal and practical guidance, calm everyone down and help figure out the best way to address all concerns.
It is far less expensive to do things right the first time than to have to fix mistakes later. Many people get their information from friends and family, or the internet, but don’t really understand the issues. The first step should be to consult with a guardianship lawyer to ask questions and better understand the legal and practical considerations necessary to make informed decisions.
Judges want to be sure that a guardianship appointment is in the disabled person’s best interests. An experienced guardianship attorney knows what a judge is looking for and help you understand the responsibilities of a guardian and what the court expects from you in terms of record-keeping and reporting to the court.
Although there is no legal requirement to hire an attorney to pursue guardianship, given the crucial personal rights and property interests involved, it is wise to consult with a knowledgeable guardianship lawyer. In problematic cases, the judge may insist you retain legal counsel.
Moreover, there may other areas of law that have to be considered, such as estate planning, tax planning, marital property rights, and very importantly, Medicaid law. Mismanagement of the disable person’s planning for disability, in particular with regard to eligibility for public benefits, can very serious and possibly subject the guardian to personal legal liability and could even result in criminal prosecution. Long story short, don’t short-change yourself or the disabled person by cutting corners. You need to find out what you need to know and do things right!
Contact us now to discuss your concerns and determine whether guardianship is the best approach or how best to address the issues.