When you hear about guardianships in the media, it typically involves a disabled or mentally unwell person being placed under a guardianship without their consent. However, there are some cases where people could be mentally fit enough to recognize that they need a guardian, but not mentally fit enough to function without one. In these cases, they can apply for a voluntary guardianship.
What is a voluntary guardianship?
A voluntary guardianship involves an individual petitioning the court to assign them a legal guardian. The laws vary across different states, but guardianships typically come with requirements. In some states, the individual must meet the age requirements and be able to demonstrate that they’re knowingly petitioning for a guardianship. Since the process has the potential for abuse, it’s important to establish that the individual isn’t being forced into accepting a guardianship.
Since the individual entered the guardianship voluntarily, they also have the ability to terminate the guardianship at any time. This might involve the individual sending the court a notice that they’ve terminated the guardianship. Some states don’t have clear rules dictating how guardianships can be terminated, which can lead to legal challenges in court.
Overall, appointing a guardian can be beneficial for people with mental or physical disabilities. But to act in the individual’s best interests, it’s important to give them the option to terminate the guardianship if their condition improves. Otherwise, a guardian could have too much control over the ward’s life.
How can an attorney help you with a guardianship?
If you’re seeking for guardianship of a loved one, an attorney might be able to help you assist your relative and improve their quality of life. An attorney could also assist you if you’re the one seeking a guardian.