When a person is incapacitated, a family member or trusted friend may need to take over as a guardian to make important financial and medical decisions for that person. If you’d like to be a guardian for your loved one or contest the appointment of one, you may need the professional guidance of an adult guardianship lawyer.
From preparing the necessary paperwork to helping you navigate the appointment process, an experienced adult guardianship attorney can help put your mind at ease as you go through this legal endeavor.
The Arizona Revised Statutes classify an incapacitated person as someone who can’t make important life decisions because of the following:
- Mental illness
- Physical disability
- Dependency on illegal substances such as drugs, alcohol, etc.
The role of a guardian is an extremely vital one. Essentially, a guardian assumes a somewhat parental part in the life of the incapacitated individual – ensuring that the health welfare and overall well-being of the incapacitated are secure.
A guardian also has the legal authorization to make all the critical decisions concerning the following: medical care and treatment, housing, lifestyle, recreation, and education if it applies to the situation.
When Is an Adult Guardianship Lawyer Needed?
When an adult loved one or family member is not able to care for themselves anymore, the court may need to appoint an adult guardian. Whether it’s due to a physical or mental disability that renders a person incapacitated, the legal guardian will need to make vital decisions for that incapacitated person.
If you are seeking to be the legal guardian of your loved one, or if you must object to another person attempting to be the guardian of your loved one, you need an adult guardianship lawyer’s guidance.
In Arizona, one must file a petition in a probate court to be the legal guardian of an adult. He or she must also notify the incapacitated person’s conservators, adult children, or current guardians.
If there is any dispute about who should attain guardianship, if the current guardian did some questionable actions, or if the situation necessitates guardianship at all, an adult guardianship lawyer can help.
The other guardianship issues an adult guardianship lawyer can help resolve are:
- Family members of the incapacitated person refusing to appoint a guardian.
- Family members of the incapacitated person disputing another person’s appointment as a guardian.
- A person refusing to accept appointment as a guardian.
Appointing a Guardian
Those with comprehensive and elaborate estate plans will be wise to appoint a guardian should they be incapacitated. This can be achieved with the help of an experienced adult guardianship lawyer.
They can also outline their guardianship stipulations by creating a traditional or living will or through a power of attorney. If these official legal documents exist, the court will heed your wishes and officially appoint your guardian.
However, the person appointed as guardian must be willing and able to perform guardianship responsibilities. The court must also be assured that the named guardian has the best interests of the incapacitated person at heart.
On the other hand, if the incapacitated person failed to appoint a guardian and they are now unable to do so, the appointment responsibility falls on the court.
The court takes into consideration the need for fiduciary representation with the capability of the considered guardian to assume the role. The court must also ensure that the person they are considering as guardian is trustworthy and reliable to support the incapacitated individual.
Because the incapacitated person loses a vital level of freedom and will need to be taken care of by a guardian, the decision to appoint one is carefully administered by the state’s family courts. An incapacitated person cannot:
- Obtain a credit card
- Apply for a loan
- Buy real estate
Navigate Arizona Guardianship Laws
Whether the guardianship appointment was made through estate planning or court-appointed, the guardianship process can get somewhat overwhelming. An adult guardianship lawyer experienced in navigating Arizona guardianship laws can help you.
The only person who knows what’s best for you is no one else but you. Take charge of your life now. Appoint a trusted loved one as your guardian to carry out your estate plan if something ever happens to you.
Consult with an estate planning attorney to help you get started on the process.