Waple & Houk provide guardianship and estate planning assistance in Charlotte, North Carolina. With the assistance of a Charlotte elder guardianship attorney, you can make sure that your elderly loved ones are properly cared for, both medically and financially. Call our office today at (704)954-8697 to speak with an experienced elder law attorney in Charlotte.
Understanding Guardianship in North Carolina
Loved ones who lack capacity, do not have the ability to manage essential elements of their personal affairs or protect themselves. In obvious cases, they cannot prepare meals, forget to eat, and cannot manage prescribed medications. They are unable to appreciate obvious medical needs or communicate their intentions for the management of their care.
They cannot take basic steps to protect themselves from physical harm- fire, home invasion, or physical abuse. They are unable to manage their financial affairs or protect their assets from wasting or even theft by predators- whether they are strangers or a family member, friend, or neighbor pretending to act in their best interest.
A person who lacks capacity requires assistance to manage their affairs. Some individuals may have planned for incapacity by appointing financial and health care agents to make decisions when they are deemed incompetent.
However, there are many successful, organized, and well-intentioned individuals who do not have documents appointing necessary agents or in some cases, they appointed agents who are not qualified to act on their behalf.
In those circumstances, concerned family members have little choice but to pursue guardianship, to establish necessary supervision and protection of their loved ones.
What does a Guardianship Lawyer Do?
A guardianship proceeding is a two-step judicial process to evaluate an individual’s ability to manage essential affairs and then if necessary, appoint appropriate persons to manage personal and financial affairs.
The determination is made after consideration of the evidence presented by interested family and friends, as well medical evidence, which sometimes includes a court-ordered medical evaluation.
Why Choose Waple & Houk as Your Charlotte Estate Planning Lawyers?
If the court determines that an individual lacks capacity, it will then consider the evidence as to who is qualified to serve as the guardian of the person (similar to a health care power of attorney) and a guardian of the estate (similar to the financial power of attorney).
Factors that determine competency in guardianship and estate planning
Competency determinations fall within a wide spectrum. Each situation is unique. In some cases, the issue of competency is highly disputed between the individual, family, and friends, while other cases involve a more obvious competency determination but family and friends disagree on who should serve as the guardian.
Depending upon the complexity of the individual circumstances, the legal procedure that comes with guardianship can be extremely emotional and highly contentious.
Standing alone, the impact of mental incompetency is a significant hardship for all involved- the individual, family, and concerned friends. However, the addition of conflict concerning whether intervention is needed, who should act, and how they should act is exceptionally difficult.
Contact Waple & Houk Today to Speak with an Elder Guardianship Attorney in Charlotte
As your guardianship attorneys, the attorneys at Waple & Houk will listen to the concerns of you, your family, and friends close to the case to better understand specific family dynamics and provide an effective plan to protect the best interest of the individual whose competency is in question while limiting the negative impacts of the litigation process – for the benefit of all involved, the individual, as well as concerned family and friends.