Senior citizens comprise one of the fastest growing segments of the American population, which means more and more families are tasked with caring for their elderly loved ones during their twilight years. How and when can a family member intervene to protect an elderly loved one who can no longer make decisions for himself or herself? The answer is that family members or other interested parties can apply to be legally recognized as a decision-maker with a guardianship relationship. These relationships allow a guardian to make important medical, and sometimes financial, decisions on behalf of another.
Our attorneys at Berman & Asbel, LLP in Media, can answer your questions about guardianship and the process by which you can obtain control over a loved one’s affairs.
How Does the Appointment of a Guardian Work?
Pennsylvania allows an individual to file a petition to become a guardian so long as there is proof that the person to be protected is truly “incapacitated” by legal definition. Essentially, this means that an adult must be found partially or totally unable to manage finances or meet essential health and safety requirements.
Our attorneys will advise you on the pros and cons of guardianship, help you collect the necessary evidence to establish legal incapacity, as well as deal with disputes that could arise when family members disagree about the need for a guardianship.
We Can Help You With the Entire Process
At our firm Berman & Asbel, LLP we help families with all aspects of guardianship, including:
- Deciding whether to file a petition for appointment of a guardian
- Resolving family disputes as to the need for a guardian and who should serve in that capacity
- Identifying less intrusive ways to meet the essential goals of the guardianship through trust instruments, in-home assistance or other alternatives
- Presenting the petition and supporting evidence in court
- Monitoring the performance of the guardian as a fiduciary
- Litigating guardianship issues such as breach of fiduciary duty, replacement of a guardian, or modifying the terms or scope of a guardianship