It’s not uncommon for some people, particularly older adults, to experience a decline in their physical or cognitive abilities. When a person’s condition progresses beyond a certain point, he often requires some assistance from friends or loved ones. By executing an advance health care directive, a durable power of attorney, or a trust, the older adult can delegate to others the legal authority to provide such assistance. But, if the adult no longer has the capacity to execute such documents, or if he needs additional protection, a guardianship may be necessary.
In a guardianship, the court will remove one or more rights from an incapacitated person and delegate some or all of the removed rights to another person, the guardian, to exercise on behalf of the person under guardianship. First, the court must determine whether the person is incapacitated; that is, he lacks the ability to meet at least some of his essential health and safety requirements or manage at least some of his property. Then, if the person is deemed to be incapacitated, the court appoints a guardian to exercise only those rights necessary to protect the incapacitated person. To learn more about protecting adults with diminished capacity, contact McDannold Law today.