Since Advocord was launched, we have received many inquiries from people looking for guidance on where to go to obtain a guardianship for a loved one. Unfortunately, Advocord does not provide legal services. We are not a law firm and we do not provide legal advice or make referrals to specific attorneys.
However, we can provide some general direction to help you get the process started. Here are some resources that should be able to help you:
- Attorneys: look for an attorney in your area who focuses his or her practice on topics like “elder law”, “estates and trusts”, or “special needs law”. Check references. Ask friends. Ask for recommendations from nursing home social workers, bank and trust department employees, people who work in the courthouse – anyone you know who has regular interaction with attorneys who practice in those areas.
- Your local bar association. If you don’t know any attorneys and haven’t been able to get a referral from someone you know, you should call your local bar association. Most, if not all, bar associations provide lists of attorneys by practice areas. You can probably find the information on the bar association’s website. Once you have some names, make calls and ask questions. How much will it cost? How often does the attorney handle guardianship cases? Find out if you are comfortable working with that person.
- Your local Area Agency on Aging. This type of agency assists with elders in need of services. It can be a great resource especially if your loved one needs a guardian, but no family member is willing or able to take on the responsibility. You can schedule a time to talk to someone about options.
- County self-service options. In some areas, counties provide forms to petition for guardianship on their website. You just need to understand that self-represented petitioners are held to the same legal standards as attorneys who represent clients. Therefore, you should proceed with caution if you take a “do it yourself” approach. Not having assistance navigating the rules of evidence, presenting testimony, and meeting an evidentiary burden can be overwhelming.
This list is intended to provide some basic, general information for you. Obtaining a guardianship can be a complex process. Advocord is available to assist you once you have committed to undertaking the role of guardian. We look forward to being a resource for you and your loved one on your shared journey.
Disclaimer: Advocord does not provide legal representation and no attorney-client relationship exists between Advocord and its subscribers. The Content is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed. The accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the Content is not warranted or guaranteed.