When it comes to guardianship, whether for an adult or a child, learning the intricacies of the process can be overwhelming. There’s more to it than paperwork – it’s ensuring someone you care about is safe, well-cared for, and has a bright future. At Berkley Oliver, we are dedicated to guiding you through every step of the guardianship process with compassion, knowledge, and an unwavering commitment to your peace of mind.
It is not easy to know when an adult or child could benefit from a guardian, and implementing such an arrangement is even less obvious. If you are confused about your options and how to take action, we want to help you. Contact us right away, and let us guide you through what can seem to be a convoluted process.
Guardianship in Kentucky, Explained
Individuals can succumb to physical or mental conditions that make it difficult or impossible for them to care for themselves. An older adult may be physically limited and unable to leave their bed. Or that same adult might suffer from mental fragility and not remember when to take medication or where they live.
A minor can be left without care and resources in the event that their parents pass away or are unable to provide for their needs safely. Parents may want to appoint a guardian for their children in case the parents die unexpectedly. Similarly, parents of children with disabilities who will need lifelong care may want to plan ahead for their child’s needs by choosing a guardian in advance.
Guardianships exist to provide these vulnerable individuals, called wards, with a capable adult who can see to it that these individuals’ physical needs are met. A guardian exists to provide the individual under their care with professionals and others who can see to it that needs for food, shelter, clothing, medications, and other similar needs are met.
How Guardians Differ From Other Arrangements
Guardianship is not the same as a conservatorship. Both guardianships and conservatorships can extend to adults as well as minors. However, conservatorship primarily concerns the ward’s financial affairs and well-being.
Those who need guardians frequently require conservators as well, but just because a ward has a guardian does not automatically create a conservatorship and vice versa.
Older adults may also create powers of attorney, designating someone to handle various matters for them in the event they become unable to care for themselves. Unlike guardianships, which can be initiated when the proposed ward is unable to think clearly or consent, a power of attorney can only be created when a person is of sound mind.
Therefore, a guardianship is but one out of several potential tools available to help you care for another person. Consult with the estate planning attorneys of Berkley Oliver and decide for yourself whether a guardianship is the right tool to use in your situation.
Powers of Kentucky Guardianship
Whether the ward is a child or an adult, a guardian can exercise certain powers over the ward. These powers include the ability to provide for the ward’s:
- Physical day-to-day care and comfort
- Medical treatments and procedures
- Decisions regarding healthcare
- Where the ward will live or with whom the ward will stay
- Decisions regarding education or vocation
In the case of a minor ward, a guardian becomes vested with the same powers that a parent would have over the minor child.
These powers are given to the guardian by the court and exercised under the supervision of the court. Guardians who exceed or abuse their powers may be held accountable to the court that gave them their powers.
Do you need a guardian for your vulnerable loved one? Or are you concerned that an existing guardian is exceeding their powers? In either case, Berkley Oliver is the firm to call in Shelbyville for help.
Common Challenges in Guardianship Proceedings
You may be seeking a guardianship over your loved one for benevolent reasons, but this does not mean that your guardianship proceeding will run smoothly. Difficulties that are frequently encountered in guardianship proceedings include:
The Proposed Ward Does Not Want a Guardian
Just because you believe your loved one needs a guardian does not mean they share your belief. In this situation, a court will need to find that your loved one meets the legal requirements to need an appointed guardian before one is actually appointed.
The Court Does Not Appoint You as Your Loved One’s Guardian
When a guardian is needed, the court will routinely appoint a friend or family member who volunteers to serve in this role. But the court does not have to do this, and it may be reluctant to do so if it believes you are not able to fulfill the duties of a guardian or will not act in the best interests of your loved one.
In these and other challenges that come with setting up and acting as a guardian, trust your estate planning attorney at Berkley Oliver to guide you and support you in the best course of action for your loved one.
Speak to an Experienced Estate Planning Attorney in Shelbyville Today
With our years of experience helping families in and around Shelbyville whose loved ones are incapable of caring for themselves, we will compassionately advise you and help you arrive at the appropriate course of action. Reach out to Berkley Oliver today to discuss whether a guardianship for your loved one is the best course of action.