Guardianship is a legal process where an individual (typically a family member or close friend) is appointed by the court to make decisions for a child, minor or adult, regarding their health care, personal affairs or property management. It is important for families to explore their options in advance so that there are no surprises when their loved ones become incapacitated or pass away. Our Chicago, IL Guardianship Attorneys can assist in this delicate and difficult process, whether it is for a child or an adult with special needs.
Often, guardianship is sought because of a parent’s death or a disability. It may also be necessary because a minor’s parents are unable to care for them or because an individual has inherited significant funds. The process starts by filing a petition with the court that includes basic information about the person seeking guardianship, age, and in some circumstances, a report from a physician as to their physical and mental capacity.
The judge will then examine the circumstances of the case and appoint a guardian if they believe that the request is appropriate. Once the court appoints a guardian, they take over duties that were assigned to them by the court and typically cannot stray too far from those roles without the permission of the court.
Typically, the court will order the guardian to provide an annual accounting of the assets they are responsible for to the court and the subject of the guardianship. This is so that the subject of the guardianship can see how well the guardian is doing their job and that the guardian has not mismanaged or stolen any money.
A guardian is also responsible for ensuring that the subject of the guardianship receives the proper healthcare and is receiving any medication they may need. Depending on the situation, the guardian might have to provide the medical treatment themselves or hire a professional medical provider to do so.
If the ward is a minor, the guardian is also responsible for keeping records of all income received and expenses incurred by the guardian as well as all tax returns filed by the guardian. This information will be used to prepare the child’s tax return each year and to help with financial planning for future years.
A family should never have to resort to court-appointed guardianship, but if it is the only option to protect a minor or incapacitated adult, the experience of our New York Guardianship Lawyers will ensure that the best interests of the child or disabled adult are being protected. It is essential to have an experienced attorney on your side from day one of the process. The attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC have the skills to guide you through this delicate and complex matter. Contact us today for a free consultation. Our firm serves clients throughout the New York Metropolitan area, including Manhattan, Queens, Westchester County and Long Island. We have office locations in both New York City and White Plains.