Cincinnati estate planning lawyers at Zimmer Law Firm provide assistance with creating plans to ensure that you are prepared in case of incapacity. Sometimes, however, a person will unexpectedly become incapacitated without having first made advanced arrangements for who should be in charge of managing his or her assets. If and when this happens, guardianship proceedings may be necessary and a guardian may need to be named.
Zimmer Law Firm can help you to make plans so you will not need a guardian if something happens to you and you become unable to make your own decisions or manage your own affairs. We can also provide help in circumstances where your loved one has become unable to act of his or her own accord and you need to have a guardian or conservator appointed. To find out more about the assistance that we can offer, contact Cincinnati estate planning lawyers today.
Guardianship is necessary when someone cannot act on his own or manage his own affairs. Someone needs to be appointed to make appropriate decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person. However, this is only necessary if there is not already an incapacity plan in place. If an incapacity plan has been created, which will typically include a power of attorney, then the named agent can take over the job of acting on behalf of the incapacitated person.
If there’s been no plans put in place, however, then when someone becomes incapacitated, loved ones or other interested parties will need to petition the court to have a guardian named. A hearing will typically be held in order to determine if the allegedly incapacitated person is actually incapacitated and unable to act on his own. Sometimes, this is obvious but other times the incapacitated person will argue that he actually still has capacity to make his own decisions, and then a judge will need to consider evidence both for and against declaring incapacity.
If a person is declared incapacitated, he or she becomes a ward and a guardian is appointed. The guardian then has the legal authority to act on behalf of the incapacitated person. The court may not always appoint the person who petitioned for guardianship to be guardian. The court will work to ensure that an appropriate person is named as guardian. Sometimes, there will be no one in the incapacitated person’s family and the court will appoint a professional guardian to fulfill the role.
The guardian has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests on behalf of the ward, and not to act to enrich himself or herself. The court will oversee actions taken by an appointed guardian in order to make sure that the guardian is fulfilling his or her responsibilities.
Many people do not like the court being involved in choosing a guardian or overseeing the actions the guardian takes. People often want to select who will act on their behalf in case of incapacity. If you would prefer to choose who acts for you if you cannot act on your own — and if you want to spare your family the stress of going through legal proceedings at a time when you become incapacitated — you should work with Cincinnati estate planning lawyers before something happens to you to make an incapacity plan.
Getting Help from Cincinnati Estate Planning Lawyers
Cincinnati estate planning lawyers at Zimmer Law Firm can make it easy for you to plan ahead in case you become unable to act on your own so you can effectively use tools such as the creation of a power of attorney so your loved ones do not need to go to court to have a guardian named. We can also help you to petition for guardianship for an ailing loved one, to prove that your loved one is incapacitated, and to show that you should fulfill the role as guardian. Finally, if you have been named as guardian or conservator, we can help you to understand and carry out your duties.
To find out more about the assistance our firm can offer with legal issues related to guardianship or conservatorship, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 513.721.1513 to learn more.