Keeping ahead of COVID-19
This rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) has imposed a fluid situation upon our community and its businesses. The team here still aims to maintain a “business as usual” approach, we are still meeting with clients in person. We are also offering video and telephone appointments to all our clients.
BOZEMAN OFFICE 406-582-8822 HELENA OFFICE 406-449-4829
GET HELP NOW!

Guardianship Lawyer Montana

Guardianship Lawyer Montana

As a guardianship lawyer Montana residents trust from Silverman Law Office may explain to clients, the term guardianship refers to a person who is appointed to care for another (ward). The chosen legal guardian then makes decisions on the person’s behalf and assumes responsibility for that individual. The guardian has authority to care for the ward, including the ward’s property and personal interests. In most cases, appointed a guardian is used for adults who are developmentally disabled, senior citizens, and minor children. 

If you are in need of assistance regarding a guardianship matter, please call the Silverman Law Office today to book a free initial consultation about how we can be of help to you and your family. 

Decisions a Guardian Makes

Examples of decisions that a legal guardian may have to make include financial decisions, medical decisions, contract agreements, and other decisions that are legally-binding. The laws for guardianship dictate who can become a guardian, along with the manner in which the role is to be done. Variables that the court considers when appointing a legal guardian tend to include, but is not limited to, the following:

  •       The guardian’s ability to understand the needs of the ward and being able to meet them.
  •       The relationship between the proposed guardian and the ward. 
  •       The duration of time that the guardianship will last, such as either on a temporary or permanent basis.
  •       The needs of the ward. 
  •       How the ward feels about the proposed person becoming their guardian. 

Help from a Lawyer

A Montana guardianship lawyer is familiar with guardianship laws, and can be part of this process to ensure that legal guardianship requirements are met. Prior to meeting with a lawyer, it is important that you prepare by gathering key documents, such as:

  •       An existing power of attorney or will
  •       Birth certificate of the ward
  •       Medical records for disabilities
  •       Evidence for the ward’s welfare and safety
  •       Protective service and criminal justice records
  •       Any other details you have about the ward’s parents being unfit

Guardianship Priorities

The biggest factor in a guardianship arrangement is the ward and what would be best for them. The court will want to know why guardianship is necessary, so be ready to talk about your concerns as well as the details of any incidents that may have threatened the safety of the ward. The court needs to understand why the natural parent or other guardian is unfit, and what you can offer to protect them. 

Guardianship as Part of the Estate Planning Process

Naming a guardian in the event that you can no longer look after your dependent(s) is one of the most critically important aspects of estate planning. Many people think that the process of estate planning consists of making a will so that one’s assets may be distributed according to one’s wishes after death. The is no question that addressing property concerns is an important part of the estate planning process. However, it is not the only element of the estate planning process that warrants attention.

Appointing a power of attorney helps to ensure that in the event you become incapacitated, someone you trust is legally empowered to make legal, medical, and/or financial decisions on your behalf. Creating an advanced healthcare directive helps to ensure that your wishes concerning extreme and end-of-life medical care are respected. And working with an experienced Montana guardianship lawyer to name a guardian (and a backup guardian in the event that your first choice isn’t able to carry out the functions of a guardian as you’d hoped) helps to ensure that your dependents are cared for in the ways you need them to be, should you become incapacitated or pass away. Failure to take this step could lead your dependents to be cared for by individuals other than those you would have chosen yourself.

Naming a Guardian as Part of Your Estate Plan

One of the benefits of working with a Montana guardianship lawyer on this aspect of your estate planning is that our experienced team can help you to determine which trusted loved one may serve as the best possible choice for your dependent’s guardian in the event that you’re no longer in a position to look after them. Sometimes, clients arrive at their estate planning sessions prepared to name a potential guardian and they feel confident about that choice. However, there are many times wherein individuals are unsure of who may best serve in this role.

When thinking about who may be the best “fit” for serving as a potential guardian, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Is the person you’re considering both financially stable and responsible?
  2. Does this person share your most fundamental values?
  3. Will this person go out of their way to ensure that your child’s best interests are facilitated?
  4. Is it important to you that this person commit to living somewhere specific with your dependent?
  5. Will this person’s age, family situation, medical conditions, or personal priorities get in the way of serving as the best possible guardian?

Note also that you’ll want to prioritize your child/dependent’s needs when making this decision, not whether one or more of your loved ones will be offended if you don’t name them guardian. Your child/dependent’s wellbeing has to be your number one concern.

Legal Assistance Is Available

If you are seeking guardianship for a minor child or adult or you are looking to name a guardian in the event that you can no longer care for your dependent(s), we encourage you to talk with a lawyer so they can help oversee the process. An attorney can offer sound advice, review paperwork before submission, and assist in obtaining key documents for you. If you are ready to talk with a Montana guardianship lawyer, call the Silverman Law Office to schedule your free initial consultation.

CONTACT US

Fill out the form below to get in touch with our legal team or call Bozeman office at (406) 582-8822 or our Helena office at (406) 449-4829 to talk to someone right away.