Washington DC Guardianship Lawyer
There may come a time when the elderly or infirm, or those beset by disability or addiction, are simply no longer capable of adequately caring for themselves, or making decisions regarding their finances, from managing investment property to paying monthly bills. Perhaps an individual needs a medical procedure but can’t legally provide consent, or there is a dispute in the family over who should make decisions or provide care for their loved one. The Washington DC guardianship lawyer at Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing provide compassionate, expert assistance in the process of obtaining a court-appointed guardian to make sure individuals get the care they need.
Comprehensive Assistance in the Guardianship Process
There are many different legal tools and practical solutions that can be employed to help provide care and guidance for a loved one, such as a power of attorney. Our experienced estate planning attorneys take the time to listen to your needs and fully understand the situation, to help determine whether a guardian is needed and is the best option available. If a guardianship is appropriate, our compassionate and dedicated lawyers provide advice and representation throughout the entire process, including all of the following areas as needed:
- Filing the petition for guardianship
- Representation at competency hearings
- Assisting guardians in the performance of their duties
- Establishing trusts
- Developing plans for the ward’s care and protection
- Annual reporting and accounting of assets and expenses
- Discharge of guardian when guardianship no longer needed
A proceeding to establish a guardianship requires a court hearing, where a judge decides whether the subject of the proposed guardianship is in fact unable to make decisions, and whether any better alternatives to a guardianship exist, such as a power of attorney or healthcare power of attorney. The judge can order a guardianship over the person, a guardianship over the property, or both, depending upon whether the individual’s needs extend only to financial and legal matters or also include personal care and medical matters. If a guardianship is deemed appropriate, the judge will appoint a guardian and also outline the terms of the guardianship and powers and duties of the guardian.
The judge’s decision will be based on medical testimony from doctors, psychologists or social workers, along with other evidence supplied by the parties. Determining capacity is a complex legal question. As experienced Washington DC estate planning attorneys well-versed in guardianships and all available alternatives, our firm can help provide sound advice and effective representation in court and throughout the entire process.
Guardianships for Minors
When a child cannot be cared for by his or her parents due to their death, incarceration, institutionalization or incapacity, it may be appropriate to appoint a guardian to see to the child’s proper care and upbringing. We assist grandparents or other family members or interested persons in seeking appointment as a guardian, or in challenging the appointment of another person considered unfit to serve as a guardian for the child. Our compassionate and knowledgeable attorneys can also serve as a guardian ad litem for a child in court proceedings that could impact that child, such as a divorce or dependency hearing concerning allegations of abuse or neglect.
Compassionate and Dedicated Washington DC Guardianship Lawyers
If you are seeking a guardianship for yourself or a loved one, or if you are opposed to a guardianship or proposed guardian and need a voice in the proceeding, contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing at 202-536-3359 to schedule a confidential consultation with a compassionate and experienced Washington DC guardianship lawyer.