Questions For Nick (Guardian)

My mother lives in a nursing home and has advanced dementia. The home administrator tells me she needs a legal decision-maker, but my mom never gave anyone a power of attorney when she was well. What do I do?

You, or another individual, will need to apply to the Superior Court to be appointed guardian of your mother’s person and estate. A guardian will then be able to make all medical, financial and any other decisions required by the nursing home or any other person or institution, on behalf of your mother. A guardianship proceeding requires two doctors to examine your mother to determine if she is able to manage her personal and financial affairs. Legal documents are prepared which outline your mother’s condition and financial status.

The court will also appoint an attorney for your mother who will meet with her and issue a report as to whether he believes she is in need of a guardian. When a guardian is appointed for a ward (the person over whom a guardianship is granted), the ward’s freedom is greatly restricted and, therefore, the court wants to ensure the ward is, in fact, in need of such a decision maker.

Obtaining a guardianship as to your mother is critical so that orderly and appropriate decisions can be made for her benefit as to medical and financial matters.

The questions and answers by Nicholas A. Giuditta, III, of the Law Office of Nicholas A. Giuditta, III, provided herein are for general information purposes only. The information does not, nor is it intended to, constitute legal advice and is not provided in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Online readers should not act upon this information without discussing the particular facts of their matter with an attorney.

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