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A need for Guardianship can arise in many different circumstances, such as when a loved one becomes physically ill and is not be able care for themselves or mentally ill and cannot manage their own financial affairs. Perhaps one has a child who has inherited a sum of money or has a disabled or otherwise recently incapacitated family member. This responsibility of selecting someone to care for another person or that other person’s affairs can be addressed by a Guardianship.

Abom and Kutulakis is fully prepared to assist you in clarifying the nature of your love one’s needs and to prepare the legally required documents for that process. If a potentially incapacitated person has previously identified another person to have such a power prior to becoming ill or injured — such as through a health care power of attorney — the court will consider that prior designation when deciding who should serve in the role.

Pennsylvania has its own set of laws governing Guardianship and they are based on the principal of a guardian being someone whose judgement can be substituted for the incapacitated person. The guardian must meet certain legal qualifications and must be in the position to ascertain the wishes, to the extent possible, of the person for whom they will speak and make decisions. Guardians serve as fiduciaries, may not improperly benefit from taking on this legal role and must adhere to a certain standard of conduct. Our attorneys can help guide you in this role as well.

Legal guardianships must be approved by court order. That order may include time restrictions and it may be modified if the incapacitated person regains capacity or loses capacity in new areas. We are knowledgeable in all these areas and can advise you throughout the process of selecting a guardian for your loved one.

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