Guardianships are a crucial part of protecting those in our lives who cannot protect themselves. With a guardianship, you can ensure that someone who lacks the ability to care for their own needs can have their legal, financial, and medical affairs taken care of. But when exactly should you seek guardianship for someone you care about?
- When they are a minor child
- One of the most common reasons to seek guardianship is when there is a minor child who, for some reason, can no longer be cared for by their parents. In this sort of situation, a legal guardian will be appointed to watch over the child until they are legally able to manage their own affairs. Typically, this means it ends when they turn eighteen, although this may change depending on the circumstances.
- When they have special needs
- Another reason people may seek guardianship over someone else is when they have someone they care about who has special needs, such as problems that result from a developmental disability. Often, people with special needs have difficulty managing their own legal, financial, and medical affairs, starting from an early age. In this case, a guardianship is likely to last the person’s entire life.
- When they have severe mental issues
- Another reason someone might seek guardianship is when someone they care about experiences severe psychological problems that interfere with their ability to function in daily life. These problems might be the result of a long-term mental illness, or they might be caused by external factors such as psychological trauma. In these cases, the guardianship will last however long it takes for the person to mentally recover, which could be weeks, months, or years, depending on the circumstances.
- When they suffer a severe injury or illness
- Guardianships are also commonly seen in cases where someone has been incapacitated due to a severe illness or injury. For example, someone might seek guardianship over a loved one if they have been rendered comatose from a car accident, or if they have been placed in intensive care due to severe pneumonia. Typically, these guardianships last until the person recovers from whatever medical issue incapacitated them, for however long that takes.
- When they suffer from dementia
- Finally, someone may seek guardianship for an elderly loved one suffering from dementia. As their dementia progresses, an elderly person becomes less able to manage their own affairs, making it necessary to handle things on their behalf. Usually, these guardianships will last for the rest of the person’s life, as dementia is a progressive disease that only becomes more severe over time.
The guardianship law attorneys at David J. Lorber & Associates, PLLC will work with you to determine whether a guardianship might be necessary for your loved one, and help you to get a guardianship that will suit your needs. For comprehensive guardianship and elder law services in New York, call David J. Lorber & Associates, PLLC at (631) 750-0900 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation at our Setauket office.