A guardianship is appointed when a child under 18 does not have a parent who is able to care for him, or in cases of an adult without the mental ability to care for himself. These people are considered a ward of the court. In this post, our estate lawyer in Raleigh is going to focus on a ward who is an adult but may have developmental disabilities that prevent him from making all decisions regarding personal issues, health, and finances.
Alternatives to Guardianship | Estate Lawyer in Raleigh
A guardianship is not the only option available to a ward who needs help. It can be seen as an extreme measure and one that is used only as a last resort when it comes to people who are able to manage most of their own affairs. A person with developmental or intellectual disabilities may be able to make their own choices with guidance from family or friends. Many of these adults feel as if they have no say over what happens in their lives when they have a court appointed guardian.
Let’s take a look at some of the alternatives to guardianship that can help assist a ward who needs help, but does not take away his ability to make decisions on his own, giving him the confidence to feel like he is in control of his life.
Power of Attorney
A power of attorney is granted to someone who can make decisions on the person’s behalf in certain areas, such as healthcare, finances, or business. It can be tailored to fit the individual’s needs. For instance, if someone wants help with finances but not with medical decisions, he can create a power of attorney that names a trusted family member or friend to handle matters regarding money and assets. The court does not need to appoint a power of attorney; an individual can work with a lawyer to create a document outlining his wishes. In addition, a durable power of attorney can be enacted only when the individual becomes incapacitated.
In our next blog post we will talk about a representative payee option. Similar to attorney-in-fact, a protective payee can manage a person’s benefits received through federal public programs, Social Security or Veteran’s Administration.
For more information regarding guardianship alternatives, be sure to visit back with our blog, soon. Our estate lawyer in Raleigh will have more information.
Eldreth and Eldreth | Estate Lawyer in Raleigh
Remember, if you don’t have an estate plan in place or haven’t reviewed yours in several years, now might be the best time to start. Our estate lawyer in Raleigh is here to help you get your estate planning in order and ready should you pass in an untimely manner or become incapacitated at some point. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to an estate plan. Contact our office.
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