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My family member has dementia and needs help paying their bills, what can I do?


If someone is unable to manage their own health or finances, one option might be to petition the court for guardianship. Typically, guardianship is a last resort and we would first look to see if there is a power of attorney or other plan in place to provide for the individual’s needs. If not, guardianship might be the best fit. In a guardianship, the court must first determine that the individual is incapacitated, meaning they cannot receive and evaluate information so as to make informed decisions about their personal health and finances. To prove incapacity medical testimony from a doctor or provider is required. A court may then appoint someone to act as the guardian of the person and/or estate and that guardian would be empowered to make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated individual Guardianships can be a tedious endavor so consulting with an experienced attorney can streamline the process.


My child is struggling with mental health and/or addiction, can I get guardianship to try to get them into treatment?


In order for the court to appoint someone as the guardian, they must first determine that the individual lacks capacity. Sometimes mental health and/or addiction issues might render a person incapacitated, but not always. The guardianship law requires that a doctor or other medical provider give testimony as to the incapacity so cooperation from your child’s physical will be necessary. Depending on the circumstances, a guardianship might be the answer but is not always a quick or easy process, or even a guarantee.

Legal disclaimer: The information provided in these FAQs is for general informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for personal legal advice. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Further, legal advice cannot be given without full consideration of all relevant information relating to an individual’s specific situation. No attorney-client relationship is formed, nor should any such relationship be implied.

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