When a person becomes mentally and/or physically unable to take care of themselves, a guardian may be appointed to manage their affairs. In most cases, this may be a family member or close friend. But in other selected cases, the courts may appoint a qualified guardianship attorney instead.
Regardless of who is named as the guardian, there are many issues that must be dealt with to satisfy the demands of the courts. Because these demands can be complicated, ongoing and time consuming, many people who have been appointed as guardians seek legal help to make sure they carry out their duties in an appropriate way.
In Ann Arbor and the surrounding communities, many guardians turn to Attorney David Stimpson for assistance. His experience and guidance brings a peace of mind to those who may be overwhelmed or otherwise not equipped to effectively accomplish tasks at hand.
Specifically, Attorney Stimpson can assist guardians with the following:
- Gathering background information, medical information, physician certifications and other relevant documentation.
- Arranging for medical and mental health experts to interview the incapacitated person to document and be able to report back to the courts what has been observed. This will produce the best and most complete picture of the level of functionality of the incapacitated person.
- With the assistance of an attorney, a guardian must attempt to uncover all assets belonging to the incapacitated person and make sure there has been no mismanagement of those assets. Part of that includes determining if the person has executed a power of attorney, or has a will, trust or advanced healthcare directive in place.
- In some cases, the courts may request an evaluation to determine if the proposed guardian can handle the fiduciary duties, has the right demeanor to take care of the incapacitated person and if appointing them is in everybody’s best interests. The presence of a guardianship attorney can bring added credibility to a guardian’s abilities to handle another person’s affairs
One of the most important duties of a guardian is reporting all findings back to the courts. Open and honest communication between the courts and the petitioner are essential to make sure the right decisions are reached that best meets the needs of the incapacitated person going forward. Because Attorney Stimpson deals with court matters on a daily basis, he can also help guide guardians through all facets of the legal system to ensure required findings and documents meet with the approval of the courts.
Stimpson & Associates serves clients in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County and surrounding Michigan communities.