Guardianships, which are generally established by the courts, serve as a means of protecting the interests of an "incapacitated" individual (the "ward"). Two things trigger the need for a guardianship. First, due to age, poor health, or confinement, the individual is unable to manage his or her finances and/or personal care. Second, there is no power of attorney, will or trust that sufficiently specifies how the ward's finances are to be managed through the incapacity.
Because of the time, expense, and inflexibility involved with arranging for and managing guardianships, it is best to avoid their use through advanced planning. However, when such planning is not possible, the family and courts generally pursue this course of action.
The role of a guardian is often broken into its two main components:
- Guardian of the person
- Guardian of the estate
As guardian of an incapacitated person's estate, we provide sound financial management and judgement, personal service, and peace of mind for everyone concerned. We willingly consult with the family and the courts before the guardianship is established, then carefully manage every aspect of the ward's finances, with sensitivity to the needs of the ward and of his or her family.