Guardians who are appointed to handle matters of an estate or life decisions for someone who is incapacitated have a lot on their plate. Often, individuals serving in guardianship capacities must make life-or-death or life-altering decisions for someone else. In some cases, guardians are in charge of financial resources for a person or estate. Any of those situations come with a great deal of responsibility.
Because of the level of responsibility and trust involved in a guardianship, no side should take the matter of appointing a guardian lightly. Individuals who are currently able to care for themselves may want to consider creating documents detailing guardianship wishes for the future. As it states on our guardianship page, if no guardian is appointed by estate documents, a family member or other interested party may seek to make themselves guardian should the situation demand it.
A person who is seeking to be made guardian or who is considering accepting a request to be a potential future guardian should understand all the requirements that come with that position. An experienced estate planning professional can walk individuals through the guardianship process on both sides, ensuring everyone is comfortable with future or current arrangements.
Other guardian matters that may involve legal attention include challenging a person who wants to be made guardian or challenging the fact that you need a guardian at all. Age should not be a factor when it comes to legal rights, which is why it’s important to understand estate planning options and how to legally protect your assets, life and wishes even during end-of-life years.