One of the most difficult times that a family can face is when a family member becomes disabled to the extent that she/he can no longer effectively handle his/her financial affairs. Similarly, there are times when a person can no longer make effective decisions for his or her health care or living choices. Such disabilities may be the result of dementia, a physical or mental disability, or the result of an injury. Under such circumstances, the law provides for a procedure for the Circuit Court to appoint a qualified person to serve as a disabled person’s guardian.
The procedure for the appointment of a guardian is technical and requires specific notice requirements because a disabled person is being deprived of certain constitutional rights. In addition, the statutes creating a guardianship and rules that govern the proceedings themselves, are intended to insure that a disabled person is provided with due process.
Upon the appointment of a guardian, usually a close family member, the court continues to oversee the actions of the guardian so long as the disability continues.
A client who needs to bring an action for the appointment of a guardian needs the assistance of an experienced attorney. The guardianship procedure can be a thorny labyrinth for the layperson or for an attorney who is inexperienced in this area of the law.