When an adult becomes incapacitated, they may require another individual to make legal decisions for them. Guardians can handle personal, legal, and financial affairs, as well as making decisions for physical health and well-being. The court must approve a guardianship and the guardianship usually remains effective until the incapacitated person regains competency or passes away.
In many situations, adults have planned ahead and chosen someone who is capable and trusted to serve as a guardian if necessary. For this reason, many guardianships proceed with little to no trouble. However, in other cases, legal disputes may arise regarding a guardianship, and require legal assistance by a probate attorney.
Common issues in disputes
Guardianship disputes often arise when third party family members believe any of the following:
- The ward of the guardianship is not actually incapacitated
- The guardian does not have the capability to make all of the necessary decisions
- The guardian is making irresponsible or careless decisions with the estate
- The guardian is not meeting the ward’s needs
- The guardian is engaging in some form of elder abuse
- The guardian should be removed and replaced for another reason
- The guardian is financially exploiting the ward and the estate
Guardianship disputes are often similar to will contests,2 however they take place prior to the death of your loved one. If the guardian fights to remain in their position, the case may have to be litigated in court. This can be costly and can often deplete the estate. If you believe your loved one’s guardian is unqualified for some reason, you need an attorney who can handle your case in the most efficient manner possible.
Contact an experienced probate lawyer in Seattle and Tacoma for a free consultation
Guardianship disputes can be complicated and involve many different rules and legal issues. You should always have an attorney on your side who has experience and skill in handling this type of case in front of the probate court.
IF YOU ARE ON EITHER SIDE OF A GUARDIANSHIP DISPUTE AND NEED LEGAL ASSISTANCE, CALL THE HIGHLY EXPERIENCED TEAM AT THE DICKSON LAW GROUP AT OUR SEATTLE OFFICE AT (206) 621-1110 OR TACOMA OFFICE AT (253) 572-1000 TODAY.