Are you concerned about your father, another family member or close friend’s ability to continue taking care of his or her own health and property without help? Are you afraid they cannot remember to properly take their medications or go to their own doctor appointments? If a Power of Attorney and/or a Power of Attorney for Health Care is not already in place, the only means to help manage their health and assets is by establishing a guardianship within a court’s probate division. Once a guardian is appointed, the incapacitated person does lose many of his or her individual freedoms and rights, but gains the help from someone with legal authority to make health and property decisions for him or her.
A guardianship can be either plenary or limited. A guardian who manages all rights and property of an individual is referred to as a Plenary Guardian. A Limited Guardianship is when the court determines a person only lacks the ability to handle his or her affairs to a limited degree. In these situations, a person may lose their ability to contract, marry, make health care decisions, etc., but may maintain their right to determine where they live, retain employment and make decisions regarding their social environment to name a few. Continue reading