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A guardianship may protect an incapacitated adult

Last week, we discussed appointing guardianship in your will or trust planning in case you passed away while your children were still under your care. In some cases, people in Detroit and elsewhere can set up a guardianship, or conservatorship, over an adult. The legal processes for obtaining guardianship over an adult can be complex. At the Bingham Legal Group PC, we assist families in creating conservatorships and other estate and family planning matters that are ideal for each individual situation.

Why might you find it necessary to have a guardian appointed over an adult? Grown people are usually capable of handling their own affairs; therefore, an adult guardianship applies to someone who is incapacitated in some way and unable to manage his or her financial and personal matters. If you are the guardian of an adult relative, you would handle the affairs that you loved one is unable to do on his or her own, such as purchasing necessities, paying utilities and obtaining medical care. According to, guardianships are often appointed over those who have mental or physical disabilities and are unable to live on their own, such as a loved one who has Down syndrome. If an older relative suffers a stroke or develops a cognitive disorder, such a dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and is no longer able to make important decisions, a guardianship may be the best way to protect his or her interests.

Guardianships can also work for younger adults who unexpectedly become incapacitated due to an accident or another factor, such as mental illness. If the incapacitation of one of your loved ones is temporary, guardianship also does not have to be permanent. You may learn more about appointing legal responsibility over an adult relative by visiting our power of attorney page.

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