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Guardianship and Alternatives

We can help you navigate the process of establishing the legal protections and relationships your loved one will need in adult life.

Reisman Carolla Gran & Zuba attorneys will guide you in exploring guardianship and all the alternatives while keeping your loved one at the center of your family’s planning.

As a family member with special needs approaches her 18th birthday, you may want to seek guardianship. If your loved one has a limited ability to make informed and well-reasoned decisions, emancipation can make it difficult for you to care for her appropriately. If you are appointed guardian, you will be able to continue to act on her behalf when making important decisions in areas such as education, medical treatment, and finances.

Why might you need this?  Consider if your loved one needs a life-saving operation. Would he fully understand the urgency of the situation, or if not, would he forego the procedure and put his life at risk?  Without guardianship, you will not be able to make potentially life-saving decisions on his behalf.

We can help you navigate the process that requires filing with the court a guardianship complaint and all supporting documentation. We will help insure well-substantiated and timely submissions to the court, handle interaction with the court-appointed attorney to help explain the necessity of guardianship, and be there to represent and support you in the court hearing where the court will consider your application.

Limited Guardianship

A limited guardianship may be appropriate for a person who is capable of expressing or making some decisions of his own, but not all. For example, if a person with special needs fits this category, you could ask the court to appoint you as limited guardian over day-to-day health and financial issues, leaving your loved one with other responsibilities to make on his own.

Powers of Attorney and Living Wills

Known formally as advance directives, living wills and durable powers of attorney for health care empower individuals to make medical decisions regarding their treatment and end of life care. A proxy directive, or durable power of attorney for health care, allows the individual to invest a loved one with the ability to serve as healthcare representative to make decisions when the individual is no longer able to do so. An instruction directive, or living will, offer the opportunity to detail the life-sustaining treatment that should be provided in a variety of medical situations before they arise.

A durable power of attorney may also be executed to allow for you to make financial decisions for your loved one should the need arise.

If your loved one is capable of understanding these choices now, supporting them in crafting such a document will give your loved one peace of mind in knowing who will make decisions if they are not able to and that their wishes will be honored, while help your family avoid the need to make difficult decisions at a challenging time in the future.

Ready to Begin?

If you are ready to begin the process of helping your loved ones make decisions and plan for the future, contact our experienced attorneys today.