If you or someone you love wants to make a plan for incapacity in Oklahoma City, OK and Kansas City, KS, give us a call today so we can help you to eliminate the need for guardianship. If you have found yourself concerned that a loved one or friend is not able to make choices and communicate his wishes, you should also give us a call for personalized advice on initiating guardianship proceedings. In addition to providing the legal knowledge and advocacy to respond appropriately in your specific circumstances, we can also answer general questions you may have including:
- What is guardianship and when is it needed?
- How does guardianship work?
- How can a Kansas City, KS guardianship lawyer help?
What is Guardianship and When is It Needed?
Guardianship is a legal relationship in which a guardian has the authority to make decisions on behalf of a ward and to take action on behalf of a ward. The ward does not have the legal capacity to act on his or her own behalf, usually because the ward is underage or because the ward has a physical or mental health issue.
Children require guardians, because they do not have the legal authority to make their own choices. Usually, parents are guardians of their own kids, but this is not always the case. A person who is disabled severely and who does not have the physical or the mental capacity to take action or make decision could also require a guardian.
A person with a health issue that makes him unable to act may require a lifetime guardian if the condition exists since birth or was acquired when underage. A guardian may also become necessary if a person was caring for himself or herself but developed a health issue later due to illness or injury.
Guardianship is not always necessary when someone becomes sick or injured later in life. If a person takes action when of sound mind and uses a power of attorney to name an agent, then there may be no need for guardianship. The agent will have been given the legal authority to act through the power of attorney, rather than through guardianship proceedings. This can be preferable since power of attorney creation gives someone the ability to choose his own agent to manage his affairs and make his decisions, while guardianship involves the court deciding.
How Does Guardianship Work?
If someone becomes incapacitated and there is not a power of attorney or other arrangements in place, guardianship is the only option for concerned friends or family who want to be able to manage assets and make decisions.
A petition for guardianship would need to be filed when incapacity is suspected. The court will assess whether someone actually is incapacitated enough to be declared a ward. If the court determines that this is the case, the court will appoint someone to act as guardian who the court believes is the best person to fulfill this role. The guardian might be someone different than whomever initially petitioned for guardianship.
The court will oversee actions taken by the guardian to make sure the guardian fulfills his duty to the ward, acting in the best interests of the ward and making reasonable decisions to provide for and protect the ward.
How Can an Oklahoma City Guardianship Lawyer Help?
Parman & Easterday will work with you to retain your autonomy in case of incapacity by using a power of attorney, advanced directives, and living trusts. We can also provide assistance if you believe someone you care about needs a guardian in Oklahoma City, OK, in Kansas City, KS, or in surrounding locations.
The sooner you take action, the sooner you can begin to protect yourself and to protect the person you love who is experiencing a physical or mental issue that has caused incapacity. Give us a call today at (405)-843-6100 in Oklahoma City or 913-385-9400 in Kansas to get started. You can also contact us online to find out more about how a member of our legal team can help you.