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Guardianship of a disabled person: His or her powers

A guardianship is every bit as important as it sounds. With this legal tool in place, one person has the power to make decisions for another, such as in the event of his or her incapacitation or a disability.

With a mental or physical disability in place, a person may be unable to make key decisions in his or her life. This is where guardianship comes into play.

While there is no way of saying exactly what types of powers a guardian is granted, here are some that typically come into play:

  • Assuring that the person receives the necessary care
  • Making financial decisions on his or her behalf
  • Making medical decisions on his or her behalf
  • Making sure all medical and educational services are maintained at all times
  • Submitting any necessary updates to the court in regards to the condition of the person

On the surface, acting as a guardian does not appear to be a challenge. However, it's important to note that this is much more involved than it appears.

The court will choose a guardian based on the wishes of the person. If he or she is unable to choose a guardian, the court will step in and do so.

There is a lot to think about in regards to guardianship of a disabled person. If you have concerns about something bad happening to you in the future, take the time to review your estate plan. This will help you better understand what will happen in the event of a disability, including who will be responsible for what.

Source: FindLaw, "Guardianship of Incapacitated or Disabled Persons," accessed Nov. 09, 2017

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