Our guardianship attorneys represent parties in guardianship proceedings who are seeking to assist loved ones who have become mentally or physically incompetent to handle their own affairs, or who are parents of disabled children who will need to become appointed as their child's legal guardian once that child turns 18.
Guardianships arise most often in two circumstances: 1) when a loved one becomes disabled and is no longer able to make important healthcare, legal, financial or other important decisions; and 2) when a disabled minor reaches the age of majority and is not in a position to manage their own affairs. Phelan, Frantz & Peek’s experienced guardianship attorneys can guide you through the legal aspect of this process.
Even if your loved one appointed a power of attorney before he or she became incapacitated, it still may become necessary to seek guardianship for the purpose of managing finances, selling property, or arranging for appropriate healthcare on your loved one’s behalf on a long-term basis. In this capacity, you are charged by the court with acting in the best interest of your loved one. It’s never easy to acknowledge that someone you love is unable to function in the way you might remember him or her. However, it’s important to remember that you are making the decision to seek guardianship in order to protect and care for your elderly or disabled loved one.
Similarly, when a disabled child reaches the age of majority, the law requires that a guardian be legally appointed to assist the individual in managing their affairs. To obtain guardianship in these cases, our guardianship attorneys at Phelan, Frantz & Peek will appear in court, where we will need to prove that your elderly or disabled loved one is legally incompetent. We will also need explain to the judge why you are best suited to the role of guardian. Obtaining guardianship does not necessarily give you complete control over or responsibility for every aspect of your ward’s life. Depending on the court’s findings regarding your loved one’s level of incapacity, you may be granted decision-making and legal power over one or more areas. You should know that your loved one has a right to retain his or her own attorney and contest the guardianship request.
Working with skilled, compassionate guardianship attorneys can help you achieve the best outcome for your elderly or disabled loved one. Contact us today to discuss your guardianship needs. We look forward to speaking with you.
Guardianship Case Study
Guardianship Case Study
Richard and Dorothy live in Westfield, New Jersey with their three children. Dorothy’s mother and disabled brother came to live with them shortly after Dorothy’s father passed away. Dorothy’s parents had obtained guardianship of Dorothy’s brother shortly after he turned 18. He was now in his mid-40s and Dorothy and Richard sought to have the Guardianship papers amended to reflect not only Dorothy’s mom as Guardian, but also Dorothy and Richard as co-guardians. Phelan, Frantz & Peek was able to submit an application to the Surrogate’s Court to have Dorothy’s father removed as guardian of his son and Dorothy and Richard named as co-guardians with Dorothy’s mother. Phelan, Frantz & Peek attorneys went to court with Dorothy, Richard and Dorothy’s mom to successfully argue that all 3 should be named co-guardian as each served a separate and distinct role in Dorothy’s brother’s life.