Guardianship is the process whereby a person obtains the power to make decisions on behalf of another adult. In most situations, this involves a senior citizen who can no longer meet their own needs. However, a guardianship may also be necessary when an adult with physical or mental limitations requires help with their day-to-day needs.
Obtaining a guardianship is rarely simple. Courts must always weigh the rights of the proposed ward and against their need for help. At the same time, the court will evaluate the potential guardian’s ability to serve in their role as well as their motivations for doing so.
If you are considering petitioning a court for guardianship powers, a dedicated trust and estates attorney may be able to help. A Kernersville guardianship lawyer could explain the legal process, what you will need to prove, take the lead in submitting paperwork to the court, and present a powerful case before a judge.
The goal of empowering a guardian is to ensure that vulnerable adults receive the support they need. North Carolina General Statute §35A-1241 gives guardians broad authority to control bank accounts, sign legal documents such as leases on behalf of a ward, and submit applications for government benefits. A lawyer in Kernersville could offer more insight about how a guardian can help their ward legally, financially, and with everyday living.
Guardians have significant means to control the lives of their wards. Because of this, courts will only grant guardianship powers if the potential guardian proves that the arrangement is necessary for the wellbeing of the potential ward. This usually requires evidence of a physical or mental condition that leaves a potential ward unable to care for their own needs.
As part of this process, courts are likely to require a prospective guardian to submit a complete, multidisciplinary evaluation under N.C. Gen. Stat. §35A-1111. A treating doctor can complete this evaluation and provide their opinion as to whether a proposed ward needs a guardian to protect their wellbeing.
Once a potential guardian submits a petition to the court, a judge will hold a formal hearing. This gives other interested parties, such as family members, the opportunity to express their opinions. The court will also appoint an attorney to protect the interests of the prospective ward. An experienced local lawyer could help guide potential guardians through the legal process of gaining permission to protect their vulnerable loved one.
One way to help your loved one who struggles with a physical or mental disability which makes it difficult for them to live on their own is to petition a court for guardianship powers. If you receive these powers, you will have the full legal authority to take any step necessary to provide for that person’s wellbeing.
However, obtaining these powers can be difficult. You must convince the court that the potential ward needs your help and could endanger themselves without it. A Kernersville guardianship lawyer may be able to help. Reach out to a compassionate attorney today to learn more.