Using Guardianship To Protect Loved Ones’ Well-Being

A power of attorney is always preferred to a guardianship. Loved ones who are aging or have special needs who are unable to make a power of attorney may need help making financial or medical decisions. If an incapacitated loved one is 18 or older, you may need to obtain guardianship to act on his or her behalf. Obtaining guardianship can be a long and difficult process. This makes it critical to speak with a lawyer who has a firm understanding of Pennsylvania's guardianship laws.

At the Law Office Therese L. Money, LLC, our attorney has experience in guardianship, elder law and estate planning matters. We can advise you of your options for obtaining guardianship and will provide close guidance throughout the process.

How Is Guardianship Obtained?

The process of obtaining guardianship in Pennsylvania is a formal one. You must file a petition with the court when seeking guardianship over anyone 18 or older. Upon filing the petition, all interested parties must be served with a copy of the petition.

Once everyone involved receives notification, a hearing occurs where the interested parties and others can contest the guardianship. A medical doctor must present expert testimony, although the judge assigned to hear the guardianship matter may allow verified answers to written interrogatories to the doctor, commonly known as a doctor's deposition or statement. Only the Court can appoint a guardian.

When Is Guardianship Needed?

There are several situations where establishing guardianship is especially valuable. These include the following scenarios:

  • If an aging parent never executed a power of attorney and is not able to do so because of advanced age, mental infirmity, etc., you may be unable to make decisions on their behalf. By establishing a guardianship, an adult child can make medical and financial decisions that reflect the aging parent's wishes.
  • People who have loved ones with special needs who are ineligible to create a special needs trust may worry about their long-term financial security. Obtaining guardianship can allow these folks to act on their behalf, ensuring they have the financial resources they need without jeopardizing eligibility for government benefits.

Our Attorney Is Ready To Help You

We know how important guardianship is for the security of your loved one. Attorney Therese L. "Terry" Money brings knowledgeable advice and peace of mind to your situation. Speak with Terry by calling our West Chester office at 484-266-0481. We also accept inquiries through our contact form.