Easton Guardianships Lawyers

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Phone: (610) 253-9171

Easton Area Estate Planning and Guardianship Attorneys

When a loved one isn't able to take care of himself or herself, friends or family members may have to step in to prevent harm. Sadly, many elderly parents, grandparents and other relatives become unable to live alone, manage their money or take care of their medical treatment and day-to-day needs. Younger adults are not immune from disability either. Common conditions such as stroke, Alzheimer's disease, dementia, severe mental illness and many others can render a person incapable of making important decisions. Minor children who have no one to care for them may also need to have a guardian appointed.

If you are concerned about the well-being of a friend, relative or minor child who doesn't seem to be able to take care of himself or herself, investigate the possibility of guardianship. If not properly protected, an incapacitated family member may suffer physical harm, and is vulnerable to financial abuse.

To discuss whether you should petition for guardianship, contact Goudsouzian & Associates. We can help you through the often complex court process of obtaining guardianship of your loved one. From our law office in Easton, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Easton, Bethlehem, Allentown and throughout the Lehigh Valley.

Planning in advance may prevent the need for guardianship.

Proper estate planning can make it easier for your family members and loved ones, should you become incapacitated in the future. By signing medical and financial powers of attorney now, you can appoint a trusted friend or family member to make decisions for you in the event of future disability. Powers of attorney can prevent your family from having to go to court to have a guardian appointed for you if you become unable to take care of yourself.

To discuss how powers of attorney and other estate planning tools can help prevent costly and lengthy guardianship proceedings, call our law office at 610-253-9171.

Sometimes the appointment of a guardian cannot be avoided.

When a person becomes incapacitated and he or she has not given powers of attorney to someone, it may be necessary to have a guardian appointed:

Guardianship for children: In some circumstances a child does not have a parent who is willing or able to care for the child. A grandparent, relative, foster parent, or other adult may be appointed as the child's guardian. The guardian will be responsible for the child's well being and will make decisions regarding his or her education, medical treatment, and financial affairs. If you want to establish guardianship for a child, call our office to discuss your options.

Guardianship for Adults: When an adult cannot take care of his or her medical, financial or day-to-day needs because he or she is incapacitated by a physical or mental condition or a disability, it may be necessary to appoint a guardian to act in his or her best interests.

How do you petition for guardianship in Pennsylvania?

In Pennsylvania, concerned family members must petition the court to have a guardian appointed for an incapacitated relative. Guardianship proceedings are heard in Orphan's Court (called probate court in other states). Before the court will appoint a guardian, it must be shown that the person is incapacitated (incompetent). Under Pennsylvania law, an incapacitated person is:

[A]n adult whose ability to receive and evaluate information effectively and communicate decisions in any way is impaired to such a significant extent that he is partially or totally unable to manage his financial resources or to meet essential requirements for his physical health and safety.
20 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 5501.

If the person does not want a guardian appointed for him or her, a trial may be necessary to determine whether the person is incapacitated and whether a guardian should be appointed.

At Goudsouzian & Associates, we have helped many clients successfully navigate the procedures required to obtain guardianship of a minor child or incapacitated adult. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your concerns with an experienced guardianship attorney.