When is the Right Time to Consider a Guardianship For a Loved One?

The appointment of a Guardian plays an important role in ensuring that people who cannot care for themselves, will have someone appointed to manage their personal and financial needs. When is the right time to seek guardianship for your loved one? Here are some of the primary reasons that people will apply for guardianship for someone they care about:

  • Your loved one is a minor with no parents able to care for them
    • One reason people apply for a guardianship is because they have a minor relative whose parents, for some reason or another, are not able or available to care for that minor. This could be the result of a temporary issue, such as their parents becoming seriously ill. The guardianship could then expire once the parent(s) become able to take care of the minor individual. The guardianship could also be for a longer term where the child stays in the guardianship until they become legal adults.
  • Your loved one has special needs
    • It may be necessary to obtain a guardianship for someone who has special needs. If your loved one has a chronic or congenital medical condition that makes them unable to care for themselves, they may also be unable to handle legal, financial, or medical issues. Thus, the appointment of a guardian for a person with special needs who needs assistance can also be requested.
  • Your loved one has been seriously injured
    • Another reason to potentially seek a guardianship for a loved one is if they were seriously injured and as a result cannot handle their affairs. Car accidents, workplace accidents, and other similar incidents can leave someone too badly hurt to handle their personal and/or financial affairs. A guardianship can allow you to take care of their needs while they are recovering from their injuries.
  • Your loved one has experienced a severe illness
    • Similarly, severe illness can occur unexpectedly, even if previously healthy. When someone becomes seriously ill, it can take weeks, months, or even years for them to fully recover. During any period of recuperation, a person with an illness may be unable to handle their personal or financial affairs. A guardianship can help care for a loved one’s needs while they focus on recuperating.
  • Your loved one has dementia
    • Finally, if your loved one is experiencing dementia or other cognitive deficits, you might need to consider a guardianship for them; provided they do not already have a power of attorney or other advance directives in place. Dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, unfortunately, are progressive conditions that typically worsen over time. These individuals may not recover. A guardianship can help you make sure their personal and financial affairs are taken care of in those waning years.

If you or a loved one are dealing with legal issues related to guardianships, or you are dealing with any other issue related to elder law, you will need specialized legal advice. The attorneys at Hobson-Williams, P.C. are skilled in all aspects of elder law, and are dedicated to representing clients with diligence and compassion. To speak to an attorney or to schedule a consultation, call 866-825-1LAW.

Written by Tanya Hobson-Williams

Appointed to the bench by the Board of Trustees in 2008, and elected in 2009, Tanya Hobson-Williams was the first African-American Female Justice in the Incorporated Village of Hempstead. Tanya Hobson–Williams obtained her B.A. in Government and Politics from St. John’s University and her law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law.

Tanya Hobson-Williams has an active elder law practice assisting senior citizens in obtaining Medicaid for Home Care and Nursing Home Care. She routinely lectures at senior citizen centers, assisted living facilities, law schools and counsels families on a variety of topics of concerns to families caring for the elderly.

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Author: Tanya Hobson-Williams

Appointed to the bench by the Board of Trustees in 2008, and elected in 2009, Tanya Hobson-Williams was the first African-American Female Justice in the Incorporated Village of Hempstead. Tanya Hobson–Williams obtained her B.A. in Government and Politics from St. John's University and her law degree from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Tanya Hobson-Williams has an active elder law practice assisting senior citizens in obtaining Medicaid for Home Care and Nursing Home Care. She routinely lectures at senior citizen centers, assisted living facilities, law schools and counsels families on a variety of topics of concerns to families caring for the elderly.

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