If you need to make important health and life care decisions for an adult, you can be granted a guardianship. However, there are some important things to know about this powerful legal tool so that it can be used well and only when it’s appropriate. In this blog, we’re going to discuss what a guardianship is and when you need to consider it for the health and well-being of your loved ones. Contact The Golden Rule Law Group® now if you’re searching for a guardianship lawyer in Arizona. With more than 55 years of combined experience, our team is here to help you with your needs. We will handle your case with understanding, compassion, and professionalism. Contact us immediately to get started!

What Is The Difference Between a Guardianship and a Conservatorship?

While many people use these two terms interchangeably, guardianship and conservatorship are two very different things. In Arizona, when the courts appoints someone to make decisions about the personal care and well-being of an incapacitated adult or minor (ward), this is called a guardianship. On the other hand, when the courts appoint a person, entity, or private fiduciary to oversee the financial matters and personal property of an incapacitated adult or minor, this is a conservatorship. In short, a guardianship focuses on taking care of and making personal care decisions for someone and a conservatorship focuses primarily on the financial matters and personal property of that person.

Who Needs a Guardianship?

A guardianship can be granted when someone is unable to make appropriate decisions for his or her welfare. This is typically because of mental disability or illness, a sudden accident that causes a brain injury or other bodily harm, or old age. A guardian is appointed and supervised by a court, and is only granted limited powers over the needs and affairs of the individual. Although guardianship may be temporary in emergency situations, a guardianship is usually permanent. A guardian is required to formally report to the court on an annual basis regarding the ward.  In special cases, it may be up for yearly reviews or changes, and the guardianship can be dismissed when the capacity ceases or has been overcome.

What Does a Guardian Do?

Because a guardianship aims to manage the care of the ward, the duties of a guardian focus on making decisions related to things such as living arrangements, medical care, education, and interpersonal relationships. Guardians are charged with making decisions that are in the best interest of the ward and, as referenced above, must submit an annual report to the courts. This report must describe the current status of the ward in terms of physical and mental wellbeing, and it must be accompanied by a doctor’s report.

Can You Avoid a Guardianship if You’re Unable to Care for Yourself?

If you’re not comfortable with a family member taking over your end-of-life care, or you don’t have any living family members or anyone close enough to help you, you can take specific measures to avoid being placed under a guardianship. If you’re interested in this, contact our our team for more information and we can create the necessary documents for you.

What If I Need Advice?

If you have questions or need counseling about your legal issue, it’s best to contact a lawyer who can help you decide on the best plan of action for your life. If you’re in Arizona and searching for an expert team, The Golden Rule Law Group® is here for you. We understand how overwhelming it is to make care decisions for you or your loved one, and we want to help you make the right choices for your family.

Contact us now at (480) 821-1012. We look forward to hearing from you!