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Unfortunately, towards the end of life, an individual is not always able to make clear and informed decisions. This is what guardianship is for. Guardianship cases grant legal decision-making ability to an individual on behalf of an adult who is incapacitated or otherwise unable to make important decisions for him- or herself. This may be necessary if an individual is diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s, if they are unconscious or semi-conscious, or if they have a mental disorder or impaired cognitive abilities. 

If individuals think ahead, there are many ways to provide for the execution of their wishes, even if their condition deteriorates. Advanced healthcare directives formally layout decisions about healthcare. Power of attorney designates an individual to make decisions about finances. However, what happens if the individual didn’t make these plans ahead, and is now unable to specify their preferences? 

A guardianship trial’s purpose is to first, determine whether or not the individual in question is able to make his or her own decisions, and second, to designate the right party to assume guardianship of the individual. If granted, guardianship may suspend some of the rights of the “ward”, such as a driver’s license and voting rights. The guardian assumes responsibility for the care of the individual, much like a parent has responsibility for care of their child. 

If you are involved in a guardianship case, you may need legal representation to ensure that your rights are respected and that you can secure the right outcome for the person who needs protection and guardianship. The experienced attorneys at Reppucci & Roeder understand that every case is different, and so we create your legal strategy after talking with you to determine your individual goals and situation. 

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