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One of the most difficult situations for a family to handle is the declining health of a loved one. Unfortunately our loved ones don’t always plan for the worst, leaving us to figure out what to do in the event they can no longer decide for themselves.

If someone you love has become incapacitated and doesn’t have a durable power of attorney in place, you’ll need to petition the court for legal guardianship in order to handle their affairs.

At Daley Zucker, LLC, we can help you navigate the complexities of legal guardianship in Harrisburg, PA and handle all the legal details.



How Does Guardianship Work?

Seeking guardianship over another person is a complex process because it involves terminating or limiting the rights of an adult to handle their own affairs. The courts take this process very seriously and use a high degree of scrutiny.

The situation can become especially difficult if the person believed to be incapacitated resists having a guardian appointed on his or her behalf. Recognizing that each family situation is unique, the law is somewhat flexible. For example, limited guardianship may be granted in cases where proof is presented that the individual is partially competent to take care of themselves.

Legal Assistance is Critical

Because the process of guardianship is often complex, it is important to hire a guardianship attorney near Harrisburg, PA who understands the process, knows the laws and regulations that apply and can guide you through the process.

The skilled attorneys at Daley Zucker, LLC can help you navigate this difficult legal process with experience and compassion.

We can also answer your questions regarding your legal authority under an existing Power of Attorney or help in an ongoing guardianship dispute or proceeding.




Legal Guardianship FAQ

In legal matters, few responsibilities are as meaningful as those pertaining to legal guardianship. Becoming a legal guardian, or designating one for your dependents, is a profoundly significant decision that influences their welfare and future. Legal guardianship empowers individuals to make essential choices on behalf of someone unable to do so independently, often due to age or incapacity.

If you find yourself seeking guidance on legal guardianship, or if you’re considering assuming this role, this Legal Guardianship FAQ is your comprehensive resource. It provides answers to a variety of common questions, addressing everything from the basic definition of legal guardianship to the nuanced processes involved.

Understanding the intricacies of legal guardianship is vital when caring for your loved ones or planning for your future, and this FAQ can serve as a valuable guide in navigating this legal territory.

What Is Legal Guardianship?

Legal guardianship is a legal relationship where an individual, the guardian, is granted authority and responsibility over the personal and/or financial affairs of another person who is unable to make these decisions independently.

Who Can Be a Legal Guardian?

Legal guardians can be family members, friends, or even organizations, depending on the specific laws of your state. It’s essential to meet specific eligibility criteria.

When Is Legal Guardianship Necessary?

Guardianship is necessary when a person is unable to make sound decisions for themselves due to factors such as age, mental or physical incapacity, or disability.

What’s the Difference Between Guardianship and Custody?

Guardianship typically pertains to legal responsibilities for making personal and financial decisions for the individual, regardless of age. Custody relates more to the care and upbringing of a minor child.

How Is a Guardian Appointed?

To become a guardian, you must petition the court, and a judge will decide if guardianship is warranted.

Are There Different Types of Guardianship?

Yes, there are various types, including guardianship of the person (handling personal decisions) and guardianship of the estate (managing financial matters).

Can Guardianship Be Temporary?

Yes, guardianship can be temporary. For example, if an individual becomes temporarily incapacitated, a relative can be appointed as a temporary guardian.

What Are the Responsibilities of a Legal Guardian?

A legal guardian is responsible for making decisions in the best interests of the individual, providing for their care and safety, and managing their finances, depending upon whether the guardian has been appointed guardian of the person, guardian of the estate, or plenary guardian, which is guardian of the person and of the estate.

Guardians must also file yearly reports with the Court.

Can Legal Guardianship Be Contested?

Yes, it can. Interested parties, including the individual over which guardianship is being sought, can contest a guardianship if they believe it is unnecessary or if there are concerns about the guardian’s actions or intentions.

How Does Guardianship Affect the Individual’s Rights?

The extent to which the individual’s rights are affected depends on the type of guardianship. In some cases, the individual may retain certain rights.

Can Guardianship Be Terminated?

Yes, guardianship can be terminated if the individual’s condition improves, they reach the age of majority, or for other valid reasons.

Is Legal Assistance Required for Guardianship Proceedings?

While legal representation isn’t mandatory, it’s highly recommended to ensure you understand the legal process and comply with all requirements.

How Can I Prepare for Guardianship Proceedings?

Gather all necessary documentation, such as medical records and financial statements. Consult with an attorney to guide you through the process.

What Are the Costs Associated with Guardianship?

Costs can include court filing fees, attorney fees, and fees for a guardian ad litem (GAL), among others.

Where Can I Get More Information on Legal Guardianship?

Consult with an attorney specializing in family law or guardianship for personalized guidance. You can also contact your local court or visit their website for general information regarding the legal requirements in your jurisdiction.

Depending on the size of your estate and your family situation, more complex planning may be required. Various trusts are available to both minimize taxes and protect loved ones. The attorneys at Daley Zucker, LLC can help with every aspect of your estate planning including:

Our Estate Planning Attorneys

Patricia Carey Zucker
Vicky Ann Trimmer
Karen W. Miller