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Guardianship is defined as a legal relationship created for a person or institution to take care of minor children or incompetent adults. It can also be called a conservatorship, and it can be a result of a will or it can be assigned by a court. Whether you’ve inherited a guardianship, petitioned the court for one, or are looking to learn more about rescinding guardianship, it’s a good idea to consult with a guardianship law lawyer. Here’s why:

Guardianship is complicated.

Like most law, guardianship law is a tough thing to define, understand and ultimately execute. If you’re planning your will, a guardianship law lawyer can guide you toward the best decision for your child or adult in your care. There are many considerations for who would be the most appropriate guardian or conservator for your loved ones. Things like income, stability, physical capability, and lifestyle are among a few of the issues to consider. Another thing to consider, if deciding on a guardian or conservator, is how their lives would change and what you may be able to do to assist that person with their newfound responsibilities. For example, you may want to name a sibling as the guardian of your child, should there be a need. However, if your sibling is not equipped for the responsibility, or there is a possibility that they will be at an advanced age when this responsibility is bestowed upon them, then you may want to consider other options.

It’s not just for children.

Guardianship can be a nasty business, especially when it comes to conservatorship of the elderly. In fact, there have been calls for court reform of the guardianship process as it has been discovered that more and more elderly people are falling victim to greedy institutions and governments who are seizing the assets of the elderly. If you plan to take care of an older loved one, you may want to consider establishing legal guardianship or conservatorship of your elderly adult. This way, you can look after them and their assets to ensure they are properly managed and taken care of for the remainder of their lives. This can be an awkward conversation to have with your elderly loved one. Often the switch in roles is hard to accept, and sometimes pride can get in the way. Depending on their mental state, it may be best to include them in all conversations regarding their health and finances. A good guardianship law lawyer can help guide the conversation, answer any questions, and put your loved one at ease.

A legal agreement will protect you and your loved one.

While the circumstances of your guardianship or conservatorship may be upsetting, it’s important that you don’t push aside a legal agreement for another date. If you experience hardship, have a medical issue to address, or an unsavory character comes in the picture to take advantage of your loved one, it’s critical that you have the legal rights and protections that a court ordered guardianship or conservatorship provides. By delaying this process, you could be setting yourself up for bigger, more expensive legal issues down the line.

In the eyes of the law, love is not enough. While you may be the best, most careful caretaker of your loved one, you must establish a legal right to caring for that person. Your legal guardianship will provide protection, allow you to enroll your loved one in medical coverage, give you the authority to have a say in their medical care, and ensure that they are well-looked after for the remainder of their childhood or lives.

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