There may come a time when an elderly or a disabled person can no longer be capable of adequately caring for themselves, or making decisions regarding their finances. In these situations, the appointment of a guardian with the help of our credible Adams County guardianship attorney may be necessary.
At Patrick D. McBurney Jr. Attorney at Law, we’ll work closely with you to obtain or contest a court-ordered action to establish a guardian. Contact our law office and schedule an initial consultation with our top-ranking Washington estate planning lawyers to discuss your questions and concerns.
Why Do I Need a Guardianship Attorney in Washington?
Sometimes our loved ones may require assistance and oversight in their financial or personal matters. If you believe a loved one is unable to make decisions due to incapacity, you might consider seeking legal authority to act on his or her behalf. Our qualified Adams County guardianship attorneys will take the time to listen to your needs and fully understand the situation, to help determine whether having a guardian is necessary.
At Patrick D. McBurney Jr. Attorney at Law, we can:
- help you navigate the guardianship and conservatorship process with greater ease.
- assist you with all aspects of estate planning to ensure the orderly and efficient management and transfer of property during life, upon incapacity, and at death.
- help you through every step of the guardianship petition, court hearings, and necessary documentation.
- explore all of your legal options to take proper care of an incapacitated loved one and advise whether guardianship is right in your case.
With the legal help of our skilled Washington attorneys, your issues concerning estate planning, bankruptcy, family law, and criminal law can be managed. There’s never a wrong time to begin thinking about your estate. Contact Patrick D. McBurney Jr. Attorney at Law today for a consultation. We serve clients throughout Adams County, Yakima County, Spokane County, and surrounding areas.
What is Guardianship?
Guardianship is a legal process used to protect individuals who are unable to care for their well-being due to incapacity. An alleged incapacitated person is generally an adult who lacks the physical or mental ability to make necessary decisions for themselves, often because of age, disability, injury, or substance abuse.
A legal guardian is an adult who is named in the estate plan or chosen by the probate court to make decisions on behalf of an individual who cannot make decisions for him or herself, usually a minor but sometimes an adult with special needs. Legal guardians have the authority to make decisions for their ward and represent their ward’s personal and financial interests. Our knowledgeable Adams County guardianship attorney can help you understand how guardianship works and how it can protect your loved ones.
What are the Types of Guardianships?
Before petitioning for guardianship, it is important to consider the different types of guardianship available in Washington. The type of guardianship a judge will order depends on the kinds of decisions a guardian needs to make on behalf of the protected person. Our competent Adams County guardianship lawyer can help you determine the most appropriate type of guardianship for your particular situation.
Guardianship (Guardian of the Person)
A guardian of the person is one whose responsibilities are to care for their ward’s physical, personal, and medical needs. They may, in some cases, also make financial decisions.
For minors, the guardian of the person is responsible for ensuring that the minor is housed, fed, clothed, and kept safe. The guardian is also there to ensure that the child receives proper education and medical care. A legal guardian will maintain custody of the minor until the minor reaches the age of eighteen, or until a judge determines that the minor no longer needs a guardian.
For elderly or incapacitated individuals, the guardian of the person can make decisions regarding their care and support. The guardian may be required to consent to and monitor living conditions, monitor medical treatment, and make end-of-life decisions and preparations.
When making such decisions, the guardian is expected to consider the ward’s wishes and desires, as well as their physical and financial needs. The adult guardianship will continue until the ward passes away, or until the court determines that the guardianship is no longer necessary.
Conservatorship (Guardian of the Estate)
If a minor has a substantial amount of money or property, the court may appoint a conservator or a guardian of the estate, to manage and protect the minor’s assets. A conservator has the authority to pay bills and handle financial matters. A guardian of the estate must make all financial decisions for the minor until the minor reaches the legal age or until the minor’s assets are depleted. For adult guardianship, the guardian must take steps to preserve and protect assets, distribute income, and obtain appraisals of the property.
A testamentary guardianship is one that’s created if one or both parents pass away. A testamentary guardian is a person who is responsible for taking care of the child’s daily and long-term needs if there is no surviving parent and no other court orders stating who the child shall live with. The testamentary guardian may be a family member or a family friend. If a testamentary guardian takes up the primary carer role, he or she will generally have the same powers, rights, and duties as a natural parent.
Temporary guardianships are generally granted by the courts to achieve a specific purpose for a certain amount of time. Once the purpose is accomplished, the guardianship is terminated.
This type of guardianship is limited by the types of decisions the guardian is legally able to make for the person who needs care. A limited guardian is granted the power to make only those decisions about personal care and/or personal finances that the court specifies. Limited guardianship is typically used when the person does not require extensive supervision and only makes decisions that cannot be made by the ward.
Call Our Experienced Adams County Guardianship Attorney Now!
If your parent, spouse, or other close loved one is incapable of making decisions in their own best interests, you may consider seeking guardianship. However, guardianship proceedings may involve lengthy and complicated court cases that are difficult to deal with on your own. There are extensive requirements regarding notifying others of the proceeding, filing the proper paperwork, and submitting evidence of your loved one’s incapacity.
If you are planning to pursue guardianship of a loved one, seek legal advice from our trusted Adams County guardianship lawyers at Patrick D. McBurney Jr. Attorney at Law who can guide you through the process every step of the way. Our estate planning law firm can provide legal advice and help you navigate the guardianship and conservatorship laws. We can assist you in determining what course of action is best for your unique situation. We are here to ensure that the best interests of the minor child or a disabled adult will be protected. Call us now and schedule an initial consultation with our seasoned Washington estate planning lawyers.