Guardianships are legal arrangements in which a court appoints a guardian to make decisions on behalf of an individual who is unable to make decisions for themselves due to incapacity or disability. At West and West LLP, we understand the complexities and sensitivities involved in guardianship matters. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to providing compassionate and effective legal representation to individuals and families seeking to establish guardianships to protect the interests of their loved ones.

Why Choose West and West LLP for Guardianships?

  • Expertise in Guardianship Law: Our attorneys have extensive experience and specialized knowledge in guardianship law, ensuring you receive expert guidance and representation throughout the guardianship process.
  • Compassionate Advocacy: We understand the challenges and emotions involved in guardianship proceedings. We provide compassionate advocacy and personalized support to help you navigate the process with care and respect.
  • Client-Centered Approach: We prioritize the best interests of the individual at the center of the guardianship, tailoring our approach to meet their unique needs and circumstances while providing support and guidance to family members.

Understanding Guardianships

Guardianships are established when an individual, known as the ward, is determined by the court to lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves. A guardian is appointed to make decisions on behalf of the ward in areas such as healthcare, finances, and personal matters. Guardianships are typically established for:

  • Minors: When parents are unable to care for their children due to death, incapacity, or other circumstances, the court may appoint a guardian to provide care and make decisions on behalf of the child.
  • Adults with Disabilities: Guardianships may be established for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities, mental illness, or other conditions that impair their ability to make decisions independently.

Types of Guardianships

  1. There are several types of guardianships, including:

    • Guardianship of the Person: The guardian is responsible for making decisions related to the ward’s personal care, including healthcare, housing, and education.
    • Guardianship of the Estate: The guardian is responsible for managing the ward’s financial affairs, including assets, income, and expenses.
    • Limited Guardianship: The guardian is granted specific powers and responsibilities, tailored to the ward’s needs and circumstances, while preserving the ward’s rights to the extent possible.
    • Emergency Guardianship: Temporary guardianship granted in emergency situations to address immediate needs or protect the ward from harm.

Benefits of Guardianships

  • Establishing a guardianship offers several benefits, including:

    • Protection and Advocacy: Guardianships provide legal protection for individuals who are unable to make decisions for themselves, ensuring their interests are represented and their needs are met.
    • Decision-Making Authority: Guardians have the authority to make decisions on behalf of the ward, ensuring their health, safety, and well-being are prioritized.
    • Stability and Support: Guardianships provide stability and support for individuals who may lack the capacity to care for themselves, ensuring they receive the care and assistance they need to thrive.

Our Process

Our approach to establishing guardianships is comprehensive and client-focused:

  1. Initial Consultation: We begin with a detailed consultation to assess the individual’s needs, circumstances, and preferences, as well as the concerns and goals of family members.
  2. Petition and Court Proceedings: We prepare and file the necessary legal documents, including a petition for guardianship, and represent you in court proceedings to establish the guardianship.
  3. Guardian Appointment: Upon approval by the court, we assist with the appointment of the guardian and provide guidance on their responsibilities and duties.
  4. Guardianship Administration: We offer ongoing support and guidance to the guardian, including assistance with decision-making, reporting requirements, and compliance with legal obligations.

Common Questions About Guardianships

  • Who can serve as a guardian? Guardians can be family members, friends, professionals, or organizations with the capacity to fulfill the responsibilities of guardianship and act in the best interests of the ward.
  • Can guardianships be contested? Yes, interested parties, such as family members or individuals with an interest in the ward’s well-being, may contest a guardianship if they believe it is not in the ward’s best interests.
  • Can guardianships be terminated or modified? Yes, guardianships can be terminated or modified if circumstances change or if it is determined that the guardianship is no longer necessary or appropriate for the ward’s needs.

Contact Us

If you are considering establishing a guardianship for a loved one or need assistance with guardianship matters, West and West LLP is here to help. Contact us today to schedule your consultation and learn more about how we can assist you in protecting the interests of your loved ones through guardianship. Reach us at (713) 222-9378, or visit our office at 3818 Fox Meadow Lane Pasadena.