We represent legal guardians in establishing guardianships of person and/or property for minors as well as incompetent adults, pre-need planning for guardians, and complying with annual reporting and accounting requirements.
Fred: One of the situations that we frequently become involved in is when a client will come into the office and say, "my dad is elderly, my mother passed away several years ago. Dad is not fully in charge of his faculties, he's going on the internet every night and meeting unwholesome women and we are concerned that he is going to give away or dispose of a lot of his money to these people. We really think that he ought to be protected against that. Is there anything that you can do for us?"
Babette: If you do advance planning and you've got a good power of attorney, then you've designated who can handle your affairs for you if you are incapacitated. Very often that completely awards guardianship. But if you haven't, and you become incapacitated, your family or your loved ones have an obligation to go to court to protect you, both in terms of great access to medical care and the best medical attention you can possibly get, as well as in terms of preserving your assets. One of the fields in which I am an expert as an elder law attorney is in the field of guardianship. We try to avoid litigation at all costs. It's not always possible but if you do need to litigate, we have the experience. Fred: Frequently, the financial affairs of such persons are in a total state of disarray. They may not have filed income tax returns for the last five years, they don't know where their assets are, they don't know how they are held. One of the things I can do in assisting Babette is to straighten out to the extent possible the financial affairs of the person who is somewhat diminished in capacity.