August 13, 2016
by Raleigh Lawyer
Comments Off on Guardianship of an Incapacitated or Disabled Adult, continued

Guardianship of an Incapacitated or Disabled Adult, continued

Welcome back. Today, we are going to talk further about estate planning in Raleigh NC and how addressing a guardian for adult needs might be a good idea to add to the plan. If you missed our previous blog, be sure to visit back with it, soon.

Guardianship of Adults | Estate Planning in Raleigh NC

When someone is appointed a guardian, she must meet requirements that qualify her to serve. State guidelines vary but a few general rules apply to all. A guardian must be 18 years or older, cannot have a felony or misdemeanor on her record and must not be incapacitated herself. In cases where the wishes of the ward are heard, the ward can voice an opinion on the potential guardian. In many cases the ward is a family member, such as a spouse, sibling, aunt or uncle, and in some cases the parent.

State guidelines also vary on what qualifies a person as incapacitated. Someone should be deemed unable to make any decisions. Just because a person is bad with money does not mean he needs a guardian to make financial decisions. Also, just because a person has a developmental disability or a mental illness that does not always mean that he needs a guardian appointed to help take care of his affairs.

When someone is appointed guardian over a ward, the responsibilities generally include the following:

  • Ensuring the ward has a safe place to live and monitoring the living arrangements
  • Making decisions regarding finances on behalf of the ward, with the ward’s money
  • Seeing that any other services are being provided to the ward such as counseling
  • Making medical decisions for the ward
  • Updating the courts on how the ward is doing in all areas of life

Guardians do not have to oversee all aspects of a ward’s life, and are not expected to know every detail of his or her affairs. A guardian is not a caretaker. He or she should step in when there are large decisions to be made that affect the ward’s safety, health, or finances.

Klish and Eldreth | Estate Planning in Raleigh NC

Remember, estate planning in Raleigh is important. It’s a way to ensure your loved ones are cared for after you’ve passed. It’s also a way to distribute your belongings to specific loved ones as well. It’s important that one not pass without this document. Doing so can result in a court case that will leave your loved ones stuck in probate court. This could be not only time consuming but expensive as well.

Regardless of whether you’re married, single, wealthy, childless or a parent, it’s important for all adults to have an estate plan and the proper documents in place at the beginning of each year. If you’re ready to begin planning your estate contact our attorney, today.

August 11, 2016
by Raleigh Lawyer
Comments Off on Guardianship of an Incapacitated or Disabled Adult

Guardianship of an Incapacitated or Disabled Adult

As we have learned in the last few posts, a guardianship is when someone asks the court to take care of another person who is unable to care for himself. The person is considered a ward who cannot make his own decisions regarding health, personal matters, living arrangements, and finances. There are several types of wards – a child under the age of 18 or an elderly person who is mentally or physically incapable of caring for herself. Our lawyer in Raleigh NC is here to discuss this matter further.

Guardianship | Lawyer in Raleigh NC

In this post we are going to look at the guardianship of an adult who is of legal age but has a disability or developmental impairment that prevents him from making his own decisions. A person with a disability or impairment that needs a guardian may not have always needed help. A person could have been in a bad accident that caused a brain injury, or he or she could have had a stroke or other illness that changed their cognitive abilities.

In some cases the disability may not last, so the person may not need a guardian as he or she begins to recover. In other cases, the ward may only need help in certain areas so the guardian will be appointed limited responsibilities. The duties are decided upon by the court. This allows the ward to feel she has some say in her life and in what happens to her. In these cases, they are understood to facilitate the independence and self-reliance of the ward so that a loss of dignity does not occur. The ward is able to care for themselves and make as many decisions as possible while still having the guidance of a guardian.

If you have any questions about this matter or need to speak with our lawyer in Raleigh NC about guardianship, contact our office. Also be sure to visit back with our blog soon, as well will continue discussing this in detail.

Klish and Eldreth | Lawyer in Raleigh NC

When planning your estate, you may want to consider which assets are subject to probate and which are not so that you can make the best decisions in how you designate heirs. If you need additional help, reach out to our lawyer in Raleigh NC to ensure that you are creating the best plan for your situation. 

As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have concerning legal issues. Also, contact our estate lawyer in Raleigh NC to schedule a consultation if you have yet to start estate planning. If you don’t have an estate plan in place or haven’t reviewed yours in several years, now might be the best time to start. In addition to estate planning, our lawyer is here to help you with all your small business needs, trademarking, copyrighting, or DWI issues.

August 9, 2016
by Raleigh Lawyer
Comments Off on How to Obtain Emergency Guardianship over an Elder, Part Two

How to Obtain Emergency Guardianship over an Elder, Part Two

Welcome back. In our previous blog post, we talked about instances where an emergency guardianship might be needed for an elderly loved one. Today, our estate planning attorney in Cary NC will talk more about this situation.

Obtaining Emergency Guardianship of an Elder | Estate Planning Attorney in Cary NC

Another situation where an emergency guardianship may be sought is when an elderly person is being taken advantage of financially. Unfortunately, this is all too common among seniors. Family members or other loved ones a senior may trust will steal their income checks or talk them into signing checks or making withdrawals from their bank accounts. Some may even talk them into signing away property or other assets. When this is discovered by someone else, he or she can go to the court to prove that that the elderly person is being taken advantage of financially and offer to step in.

The process is different between the two. First, when the petition is made, the court must see that there is an immediate need and that the ward is in danger or hurting himself, or that someone else is putting him at risk in some way.

A standard guardianship requires notice to be given within seven days of the hearing, the court has the ability to act sooner if the situation is considered an emergency. A guardian can be appointed by court order for a maximum of 72 hours.

In both cases, a physician will have to declare that the ward is not able to make decisions for him or herself. As the one petitioning for guardianship, you would have to show that you have his or her best interests at heart.

If you are trying to protect your loved one from a financial emergency, then you must show that you do not have any interest in his or her finances, and that you have not been involved in any of their past financial decisions.

Missed our previous blog? Visit back with it to learn more about obtaining emergency guardianship of an elder.

Klish and Eldreth | Estate Planning Attorney in Cary NC

When planning your estate, you may want to consider which assets are subject to probate and which are not so that you can make the best decisions in how you designate heirs. If you need additional help, reach out to our estate planning attorney in Cary NC to ensure that you are creating the best plan for your situation. 

As always, please contact us with any questions or concerns you may have concerning legal issues. Also, contact our estate planning attorney in Cary NC to schedule a consultation if you have yet to start estate planning. If you don’t have an estate plan in place or haven’t reviewed yours in several years, now might be the best time to start. In addition to estate planning, our lawyer is here to help you with all your small business needs, trademarking, copyrighting, or DWI issues.

August 7, 2016
by Raleigh Lawyer
Comments Off on How to Obtain Emergency Guardianship over an Elder, Part One

How to Obtain Emergency Guardianship over an Elder, Part One

When someone seeks guardianship over another person, there is generally time to go through the normal court proceedings. While the ward is in a situation where he or she needs protection or supervision it is generally not a dire situation.

Emergency Guardianship | Attorney in Raleigh NC

We discussed how to obtain a regular guardianship in the last post and explained what a guardianship entails, which is when the appointed person takes care of the overall needs of the individual, or “ward” that needs help with decisions regarding living arrangements, health and finances.

There are cases where someone is in medical or financial danger and needs to be protected right away. In those cases, an emergency guardianship must be sought. Sometimes they are only temporary, but some are given with the intention of becoming permanent.

There are many situations where an emergency guardianship may be needed, but there are two in particular when it pertains to the elderly, which is our focus in this post.

Many times the signs of dementia show themselves with time for someone to seek guardianship or make other arrangements for his or her elderly loved one. Sometimes, though, people wait until it is too late, or another medical issue arises that makes a loved one unable to care for herself at all. It could be the result of an accident or an illness such as a stroke.

 

If you are trying to protect your loved one from a financial emergency, then you must show that you do not have any interest in his or her finances, and that you have not been involved in any of their past financial decisions.

To learn more about obtaining emergency guardianship of an elder, be sure to visit back with our next blog post. Our attorney in Raleigh will be back with more information.

Klish and Eldreth, PLLC

When planning your estate, you may want to consider which assets are subject to probate and which are not so that you can make the best decisions in how you designate heirs. If you need additional help, reach out to our attorney in Raleigh NC to ensure that you are creating the best plan for your situation.

As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have about estate planning. Also contact us to schedule a consultation if you have yet to start estate planning. It’s never too early to make plans for your wishes upon death. In addition, our lawyer is here to help you with all your legal matters, whether it be entertainment law, trademarking, copyrighting, or DWI issues.

August 5, 2016
by Raleigh Lawyer
Comments Off on How to Gain Guardianship of an Elder, Continued

How to Gain Guardianship of an Elder, Continued

Making the decision to petition to become a guardian for an elderly loved one is something that takes serious consideration. It’s a difficult process, as it saddens us to see our loved ones get to a state where they can no longer care for themselves. In our previous blog, we talked about how to become a guardian of an elder. Today, our estate lawyer in Raleigh continues this discussion.

Becoming a Guardian | Estate Lawyer in Raleigh

As we mentioned in our previous blog post, a guardianship is a court appointed person that can care for a someone who is either under the age of 18 or is in a state where they are unable to care for themselves or make decisions about their life due to a mental disability or age. That person is considered a “ward.” When a guardian is appointed, he or she is able to act on behalf of the ward when it comes to decisions about health, finances and even living arrangements.

Our estate lawyer in Raleigh also offered a list of things that a guardian can also do for the elder they’re caring for:

  • Making living arrangements for the ward
  • Arrange for other services such as counseling or services such as food delivery
  • Make end of life decisions
  • Act as representative payee and manage federal funds the ward receives

For instance, Grandma is 85 years old and lives alone, but she is not as sharp as she used to be. She forgets where she is sometimes and has had to have neighbors take her back home a few times. She does not want to leave her beloved house. Her granddaughter has offered to let her come live with her, but she refuses. She also does not want to get help from a caregiver who could sit with her a few days a week. As she gets older, her memory problems may worsen and her situation will become even problematic.

Someone needs to seek a guardianship so that Grandma can live in a safe environment with people who will care for her and where she can get medical care that she may not have sought herself.

If someone goes to court to get guardianship, he or she will need to show that Grandma is unable to care for herself due to age and dementia. A court psychologist can talk with Grandma to determine if she is incapacitated. The potential guardian will also need to show that he or she has a plan and that her finances will be used appropriately.

If Grandma has moments of clarity and understands what is going on, she will probably be hesitant to give up her rights. She may even feel betrayed. It may be a good idea to have a conversation with her when she is in a state where she understands. She should be reassured that having an appointed guardian will be in her best interests, and that you want her to be protected and safe.

If you are considering seeking guardianship for an elderly parents or other loved one, you can consult with our estate lawyer in Raleigh who practices elder law. He or she will know your state’s guidelines and will be able to guide you through the process. Contact us to learn more.