When your spouse, adult child, parent or other loved one is no longer capable of managing his or her own affairs, or to make important decisions about his or her health, you may want to step in and take control. Unless there is legal paperwork already in place giving you the right to act in that person’s stead, you will need to petition the courts to deem the individual incompetent and appoint you as the guardian.
Whether your loved one has been in failing health for a while or is suffering from a sudden debilitating illness or accident, it is critical to get a guardianship in place quickly to ensure continuity of care and timely financial decisions. Guardianship laws are complex and there are many requirements and checks and balances in place that must be followed. Now is not the time to try to decipher the complex legal guardianship process. A misstep or misinterpretation of the stringent rules and requirements could result in a delay or even dismissal.
Let the knowledgeable and caring team at the Law Offices of W. Woods Doster, P.A. focus on ensuring you have the appropriate legal guardianship in place for a smooth and efficient transfer of control.
What You Need to Know About Legal Guardianship
Guardianship care can be provided for elderly, vulnerable adults in long-term care facilities; adults struggling with incapacitating chemical addiction; individuals with mental illness; injury, or other reasons leading to incompetence.
North Carolina law stipulates three types of guardianships to care for these individuals:
- Guardian of the Person. This guardian is primarily responsible for the care and comfort of the individual. This includes clothing, housing, medical care, psychological care, and rehabilitation. Education, training and employment also falls under this area when appropriate. This guardian does not have management of the person’s finances.
- Guardian of the Estate. Management and control of the person’s property and business affairs is conducted by the guardian of the estate. This guardian is also tasked with financial decisions regarding debts, insurance, taxes, and, in some cases, handling inheritance and life insurance proceeds.
- General Guardian. The court can combine the duties of the guardian of the person and the guardian of the estate into a single person giving them both financial and medical responsibilities.
A North Carolina Guardianship Attorney Can Help You
Guardianship cases can be difficult and stressful to navigate on your own. Our Pittsboro guardianship attorneys understand North Carolina’s guardianship laws, and will educate you on the options available for you and your family’s circumstances. So, what does a guardianship lawyer do?
Our guardian attorneys offer the following vital guardianship services:
Advise and Counsel. Petitioning for guardianship comes with significant responsibilities. Before you move forward, let our team provide guidance regarding the process such as the duties of a guardian, the legal ramifications of declaring a loved one incompetent, and what comes with administration of a person and estate. Be confident that you have all the knowledge and support you need for your guardianship case.
Administration of Guardianship. The team at the Law Offices of W. Woods Doster are here to help protect you and your ward during the guardianship, to support any legal issues, transfer or modification of a guardianship, and more. If the time comes, our NC estate and guardian attorneys can assist with real estate and property sales.
Forms and paperwork. The guardianship process requires filing a significant amount of paperwork and supporting documentation. Our team will provide you with all the required forms and legal paperwork and will guide you to ensure a full and accurate accounting of information. Do not risk submitting an incomplete package with incomplete information and slowing down the process.
Planning. Avoid the guardianship process altogether for yourself and your family by planning ahead. W. Woods Doster and his attorneys will help you plan your own guardianship by outlining your wishes and assigning a family member to act on your behalf should you become incapacitated. Putting contingencies in place in the case of your own incapacitation is a vital piece of estate planning.
Contact Us Today for Guardianship Services
The attorneys at the Law Offices of W. Woods Doster are experienced guardianship and estate planning lawyers. If you are looking for North Carolina attorneys that handle guardianship, turn to us for peace of mind and compassionate and professional care.
We can also help you plan in advance for life’s unexpected circumstances to avoid your own guardianship issues. A comprehensive estate plan puts you in control. W. Woods Doster and his legal team, in Sanford and Pittsboro, NC, can ensure you have a plan for yourself, so your family can avoid the stress of the guardianship process. Call us today at (919) 842-5007 or contact us through our website.
Trust. Experience. Respect. You can count on the Law Offices of W. Woods Doster, P.A. We serve residents of Sanford and Pittsboro and throughout Lee, Chatham, Harnett, and Moore counties.