Guardianship                                                                                                     

We help people through the guardianship process and provide ongoing guardian services when needed.

Provided here is a general statement of Pennsylvania law, it does not constitute legal advice. Consult an attorney directly for advice on your legal matter.

     

 

Guardianship is…

     Guardianship is a court authorized relationship between a competent adult (the guardian) and a minor child or an incapacitated adult (referred to as the “ward”.) The guardian is given the duty and right to act on behalf of the ward in making important decisions affecting that individual’s life.

     An incapacitated person is…

     Generally speaking, an incapacitated person is any person whose decision making process is impaired by reason of mental deficiency, physical illness or disability, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, has unusually bad judgment, a highly impaired memory, or severe loss of behavior control, or other cause, to the extent that the person is unable to care for his or her personal safety or is unable to attend to and provide for such necessities as food, shelter, clothing and medical care, without which physical injury or illness may occur.

     Examples of possible incapacity…

  • A sick person who can no longer cook or clean but who refuses to get assistance;
  • An Alzheimer’s victim who is susceptible to being taken advantage of by unscrupulous business persons or even friends or family;
  • A nursing home resident who requires the care but who refuses to stay.
    • A judge will always decide if incapacity exists. 

     Duties of the Guardian…

     When a guardianship is granted by the Court, the guardian’s duties may include some or all of the following:

  • determining where the ward will live and what training, health care and education they receive, 
  • responsibility to make sure the basic needs of the ward for food, clothing and shelter are met,
  • authority to consent to medical and other professional care needed by the ward, and
  • responsibility to keep the ward’s financial affairs in order.

     Court’s don’t take away a person’s control over their own affairs without “clear and convincing” evidence. Often only granting limited guardianships. An experienced trial lawyer can provide counsel on how Pennsylvania judges will likely rule based upon prior cases.

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