Disabled persons with families or alone need a guardian in their lives. Guardianship is crucial because it legally helps one person to help or make a decision for another person. It can be hard to accept the disabled condition, especially if it happened at one point in life. However, having a guardian in a disabled person’s life helps to take care of their property and investment to avoid losing value if they aren’t managed, and also pay bills. If any person became disabled due to an accident and has a powerful attorney, they can choose their guardian. However, if they didn’t have such an attorney, the court picks a guardian to make all decisions for the disabled person (the ward).
Importance of a Guardian for a Disabled Person
Apart from injuries or accidents, sometimes people need a guardian due to mental issues. incapacitated persons can suffer from long-term conditions and are unable to take care of themselves or work, hence, they can’t live alone. They need someone to take care of them and ensure they receive their treatment services.
Nowadays, guardianship of incapacitated persons has been limited to allow independence of the ward. Thus, wards are more considered and allowed to care for themselves both mentally and physically as much as they can.
Duties of a Guardian
Though disabled persons are given primary consideration on self-reliance, there are some things they can’t do independently. Therefore, guardians have several powers, including;
- Making financial decisions for the disabled person
- Ensuring the disabled person receives the required treatment
- Making sure that the disabled person receives everyday care
- Ensuring that the court receives updates about the disabled person
- Making sure that the disabled person gets adequate education and medical services.
The guardian is required to provide updates to the court regarding the ward’s medical and physical conditions. The report should have official medical records, services the guardian provides, all the services the disabled person receives, and the ward’s total monetary assets. The guardian is responsible to enable the court to assess the ward and check if the guardians carry out their duties as required.
Mostly, guardians make financial and non-financial decisions and don’t give caretaking services. They only help when disabled persons are unable to do something on their own. Though guardians are limited, they can exercise these powers to ensure disabled persons live well.
How to Qualify as a Guardian of a Disabled Person
All guardians of incapacitated or disabled persons need to have certain qualifications. Each state has different guardianship qualifications. However, the general qualifications of a guardian include;
- Must be 18 years and above
- Must have a clean record. No felony or misdemeanor crimes committed
- Must be able-bodied
Choosing an unqualified guardian can lead to more problems in a disabled person’s life. Untrustworthy persons can take advantage of disabled people and misuse their assets or fail to do their duties. By failing to follow up on the medical and educational requirements of disabled persons, their conditions can get worse and lead to death. That’s why all states are strict on who qualifies to provide guardianship of a disabled person.
However, the ward also plays a part in choosing the guardian. This is only possible if the ward can express their wish, has a written will, or has the power of a durable attorney. Failure to do this leaves the court no decision but to choose a guardian for the disabled person. A court can choose adult brothers, sisters, children, other members of the extended family, a spouse if one is married, or the parents.
Choose a Family Attorney
Accidents causing injuries and disabilities are unprecedented. Anyone can become disabled at a certain point in their life. Instead of waiting for the time to come and choose an attorney, it would be best if one was prepared. This way, if one gets physically or mentally ill and requires guardianship, a guardian of one’s wish is readily available.
Choosing a family attorney to help in choosing a guardian candidate isn’t a one-day process. It would be best if one researches thoroughly before settling on a specific family to avoid regretting later. The best family law attorney is experienced and can convince the court the guardian candidate a disabled person chooses is qualified to provide the needed duties.
Benefits of Having a Durable Power Attorney
A durable power attorney ensures one has the right guardian due to disability. Below are the benefits of having a durable power attorney.
A durable power attorney follows specific guidelines when one becomes incapacitated. Therefore, these attorneys don’t have all the power that disabled persons would have if they were able-bodied. Thus, they can’t go beyond certain authority and this gives the disabled person peace of mind because they are guaranteed the right guardian, proper medical services, and good care of their property and assets.
If one gets disabled and needs a specific guardian, a power of attorney ensures that the disabled person’s decision is adhered to by the court. Thus, the court’s decision is mainly based on the disabled person’s wishes on guardianship.
Various states treat a power attorney’s durability differently. Thus, it’s only effective if the state allows it. If durability is effective, disabled persons can through the power of attorney make transactions, sell assets or travel into other countries. The durable power of attorney convinces the court to grant the disabled person’s wish, including a guardian.
Risks of Power of Attorney
Sometimes, giving full authority to the durable power of attorney can be disadvantageous. This is because these attorneys can use their power and make decisions that may hurt a disabled person. Decisions such as selling a person’s property could lead to future problems, especially if one gets better and is no longer disabled. The best durable power of attorney makes the best decisions so that disabled persons can have their best lives once they are able-bodied or strong.
Guardianship is crucial in a disabled person’s life. That’s why the legal process ensures disabled persons have qualified guardians who can carry on their duties without supervision. Like many other states, guardianships in Texas ensure that those living with disabilities live a better life.