If a loved one is suddenly unable to make their own decisions, you may need to step in on their behalf.
When a loved one requires someone else to make the call.
Even though we strive to help our clients stay out of guardianship court through the use of powers of attorney and healthcare documents, there are times when guardianship court simply cannot be avoided.
A guardianship may become necessary in two distinct circumstances. First and most obvious, if a person fails to plan ahead by executing power of attorney documents, and as a result of injury or illness that person reaches a point where they cannot manage their own affairs and can no longer sign power of attorney documents, his or her family is often left with no option but to file for a court-appointed guardian.
Second and sometimes less obvious, even when a person has planned ahead by executing appropriate power of attorney documents, the designated agent must understand that he or she cannot directly act against the wishes of the person who granted the authority under the power of attorney documents. In other words, a child who is power of attorney for a parent cannot force that parent to receive the medical treatment he or she might be refusing, even when that refusal might be a result of dementia and even when that refusal is detrimental to the health and safety of the parent. In that case, only a court-appointed guardian can obtain treatment for the parent against the parent’s wishes.
At The Elrod Firm, we always view guardianship court as a last resort, and we always do all we can to help our clients avoid guardianship court. But when guardianship court cannot be avoided, we strive to make the process easier than our clients expect.
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