Who Needs a Legal Guardian?

Normally, the parents are the legal guardians that make decisions for children. While adults have the legal right to make their own decisions, guardianship means getting the legal authority to make decisions for someone else. Often, family law attorneys have to be involved in guardianship cases. Read on to learn about who needs a legal guardian.

A Minor with Deceased Parents  

A minor whose parents have died requires legal guardianship. If one parent dies, the remaining parent is the natural guardian. Tragically, if both the parents die and no guardian has been mentioned previously, in that case, a surviving relative needs to apply for guardianship in probate court. The family court has a list of relatives and people who can be given guardianship. This can result in siblings and grandparents fighting over who should be given guardianship. This can be traumatizing for the children and ruin family relationships.

Mentally Incompetent Adults

The most common reason for guardianship is a mental disability. If a person becomes mentally incompetent before drawing up a statutory power of attorney, the only available option is guardianship for them. The applicant must have a medical certificate of examination of the person in question to decide if a guardian is needed. The medical examination decides whether the person can do some things on their own, and the family court then determines if a guardian for the person and their estate is needed or not.

Aging Adults with Diminished Cognitive Capacity

Aging adults with decreasing cognitive capacity are like kids with learning disabilities. They can manage most of their work but still require some help. Mostly, limited guardianship is provided in this case. A person might only need help in certain functioning areas and can make the rest of the decisions independently. The law and the courts prefer to reserve powers to the person unless the doctors declare that they are incapable of practicing those powers. For example, a person with dementia cannot make informed choices for themselves and cannot take proper care of themselves.

Old person on a wheelchair

The experienced family law attorneys at Ledwidge & Associates P.C. can provide you with the best solutions for your legal guardianship issues . We provide professional family law services in Queens as well as Real Property Law firm NYC with our expert teams of lawyers. Contact us online or call us to schedule a consultation with our family lawyers.

The following two tabs change content below.
Who Needs a Legal Guardian?

Ledwidge & Associates

Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. in New York City has years of experience helping clients create estate plans that fit their needs. We have the experience and resources to handle your critical legal matters with the utmost care and attention to detail.
Who Needs a Legal Guardian?

Latest posts by Ledwidge & Associates (see all)