When an adult family member becomes incapacitated and is no longer able to take care of his or her affairs, or when a minor is receiving an inheritance, personal injury settlement or money in some other way, a guardianship may need to be established. While the court process of establishing guardianship is complicated and often times emotionally-charged, a skilled attorney can guide clients through the process to ensure everything goes smoothly.
In a guardianship, a person is appointed to handle the affairs of a ward (the incapacitated person or minor). Like a trustee or an executor, a guardian has great responsibility and many legal duties to fulfill. Lawrence Kamin attorneys have in-depth experience counseling parents, grandparents, siblings, and corporate fiduciaries through the complex process of petitioning the court for appointment as guardian, as well as the ongoing responsibilities of acting as a guardian. We have unique experience with guardianships that involve an incapacitated adult ward’s ownership of operating businesses, commercial and residential real estate, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, pensions, IRAs and many other diverse assets. Our seasoned attorneys are adept at handling all of the necessary details, including preparation and filing of required court documents, such as budgets and annual reports, so the guardian can focus on the medical care, lifestyle and financial management of the ward.
Sadly, some guardianships involve family members or people who may have exploited the ward. For these matters, Lawrence Kamin brings to bear a broad range of legal acumen across multiple areas of the law—tax, business, financial and estate planning—for our clients. We have successfully recovered assets for the ward, protected the ward from future exploitation, and counseled guardians through a wide array of complications that can arise in these situations.
We also have advocated for guardians and wards in contested guardianships, in proceedings in which several people are vying to be appointed guardian, and in pursuing or defending petitions to replace a previously appointed guardian. For these client matters, our estate planning and litigation attorneys work together to guide our clients through complex issues and court proceedings as needed to reach resolution. We have successfully negotiated settlements for clients or advocated on their behalf in mediation and litigation to achieve their goals.