Guardianships & Adoption

A guardian may be appointed for a person who lacks the capacity to provide for his or her own needs and there are no advance directives in place to handle personal matters. We frequently represent family members and others in the appointment of a guardian for their loved ones with diminished capacity, incompetent or disabled.

When we represent individuals who wish to become guardians, we take the time to gather the all relevant facts, determine whether alternatives to guardianship exist, and advise the client of potential issues which may arise. Once the guardian appointment is started, we continue to represent, counsel and assist our clients with their fiduciary duties, such as preparing and filing initial and annual accountings, and protecting or selling property if needed to pay for their ward’s care. We also advise clients on how to care for these matters without continued costly legal representation.

Guardianship can also be used to appoint someone responsible for taking care of a child other than the parents. This may occur if the parents die or are deemed incompetent, unable, unwilling or unfit to be in charge of their children. A legal guardian has the same rights and responsibilities as a parent. Establishing a guardianship for a minor child is an important process and the services of a legal professional is advised. A legal guardian does not necessarily need to be a family member.

We frequently represent clients in appointing guardians ad litem to represent a minor’s best interests in a parenting proceeding or other legal matter.

Guardianship differs from adoption. In a guardianship, the court gives the guardian legal custody of the ward or child. The guardian does not adopt the child. The length of a guardianship varies.

Adoption is a process of being appointed a parent of a child with full legal rights and duties that pertain to a biological parent and child relationship. Frequently, adoptions require termination of parental rights, which may be done simultaneously with the adoption.

We also represent individuals who are adverse parties in a proceeding, family members, care providers, and persons who are alleged to be incapacitated, even though they are not.

We prepare legal documents that allow you to choose who you want to become your own guarding in case you become disabled, incompetent or incapacitated.

If you need to be appointed as a guardian, want to appoint your own guardian, or need representation in a guardianship in which you are an interested person, contact us for competent timely legal representation.