|Stuff to Avoid: Adult Guardianships
by Gretchen Benolken, Of Counsel
Adult guardianships come in different sizes and shapes, and they are definitely not a one-size-fits-all item. Some things they all have in common are:
1) Someone (the Guardian) takes on some portion of another person's decision-making.
2) Someone (The Ward) loses some decision-making authority.
There are some very good reasons why this must happen in some cases and why this should happen only when absolutely necessary. One example may be that an adult has some permanent disability that makes them unable to make certain decisions necessary to their own health, safety, or finances. Each area is considered separately. Someone may be perfectly able to handle their own medical decisions, maintain adequate living conditions and get adequate nutrition, but be unable to manage their finances. This doesn't just mean making foolish spending decisions (That would put many of us in need of guardians!) It may mean that the person is not able to do simple math or comprehend monetary units or values. Even in this situation, the person may be able to rely on a trustworthy individual (often a relative) or an agency to manage their money. If such assistance is not available or the person's disability still makes them subject to fraud or abuse, a guardianship may be needed.
Visit Leigh's blog to learn more about avoiding adult guardianships and why.
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