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Vandalia Guardianship Attorney
Some records seem to indicate that the founder of Vandalia, Benjamin Wilhelm, settled in Vandalia on his way to Vandalia, IL. He then named his new town after his original destination. Other records tell a different story, with some claiming the town was named Vandalia for a different reason. The National Road was originally intended to go all the way to Vandalia, IL, but at some point, it seemed as though it would not. This doubt resulted in the Ohio village being named Vandalia. Whichever story is true, what began as a modest little village, grew steadily over the years to become the thriving small city of Vandalia with big-city amenities.
Today, businesses are taking note of the excellent development opportunities in Vandalia on Miller Lane South of Benchwood. The newest development, Stonequarry Crossings, is surrounded by the Airport Access Road on the west, Peters Pike on the east, National Road on the north, and Stonequarry Road on the south. Vandalia residents will face many estate planning issues, including guardianship issues. Guardianships are proceedings that allow an adult to handle the affairs of a minor or an incapacitated adult.
Unfortunately, guardianships are often fraught with emotion and dissent from family members. Because of this, it’s important that you establish Guardianship instructions in the event of your own incapacitation, or for a minor or incapacitated adult following your death. Having an experienced Lovett & House Vandalia guardianship attorney in your corner can make all the difference. Our firm has more than 100 positive Google Reviews, and an attorney (George Lovett) who is a Board-Certified Specialist by the Ohio State Bar Association.
Lovett & House also offers a very unique free 5-minute phone appointment where we can discuss your estate planning or guardianship needs. Courts oversee guardianships with a significant level of scrutiny. The proceedings can be complex, requiring our highly skilled Vandalia guardianship attorneys to represent you. If you have been appointed as a guardian, want to plan for guardianship, or believe someone you care about could benefit from having a guardian, Lovett & House can help.
What is Guardianship?
A person that has guardianship handles the affairs of another person, usually a minor or an incapacitated adult. An adult that is unable to handle their own finances or make personal decisions on their own behalf may require a guardian to do those things for them. A minor child may require a guardian to manage money left to them via an inheritance or through an insurance settlement or to sell real estate.
When a guardianship involves finances, it is known as “guardianship of the estate.” A guardian who is handling non-financial affairs for another individual is known as a “guardian of the person.” Guardianships are heavily scrutinized and guardianship proceedings are complex, requiring the services of a knowledgeable attorney.
Only a court can appoint a guardian, however, you may nominate a guardian in advance to act on your own behalf, or for your minor child or incompetent adult child. Such a nomination must be in writing and witnessed by two disinterested individuals or notarized. Some people nominate a guardian in their Last Will and Testament. The guardian’s control over the ward is limited by the authority granted under Ohio law.
All guardians are required to obey the orders and rules of the probate court and spending the ward’s funds will require prior court approval. A guardian of the person is appointed to make personal decisions for the ward such as where the ward will live, and what healthcare services will be provided.
Are There Alternatives to Guardianship?
Depending on the specific situation, there may be certain alternatives that work as well as guardianship. These include:
- Powers of Attorney empower another individual to make financial or medical decisions, as well as decisions regarding services. A Power of Attorney is not a legal process like a guardianship is, however, would really only be a viable option for yourself, in anticipation of an illness or incapacitation.
- Conservatorships involve a court-assigned person who will make decisions regarding the estate of a protected person. The process is similar to guardianship, in that you must go to court to be appointed. A conservator has much more limited decision-making powers than a guardian. While a legal guardian can make a wide range of personal and medical decisions for the ward, a conservator generally only has the authority to handle such financial matters as paying bills or making investments.
- A Representative Payee is a term used by Social Security that identifies a person appointed to manage Social Security benefits paid to an individual who cannot manage those benefits on their own. Even if you already have guardianship, you may need to apply to be a Representative Payee for your ward.
What are the Downsides to Guardianship?
In situations where the guardian loves or cares about the ward and wants only to do what is best for them, there is little downside. Depending on the type of guardianship awarded, the ward could potentially be deprived of certain rights when the guardian is unscrupulous.
This loss of personal rights is why guardianship is a very serious step, particularly when an individual is attempting to be named guardian over another for a dishonest motive—perhaps to gain control of the individual’s money. The proposed ward has certain rights during a guardianship hearing, although these rights might be more difficult for a minor or a disabled adult to exercise. These rights include:
- The right to be present during the guardianship hearing
- Representation by an attorney for the proposed ward
- The right to prevent a personal physician from testifying against the proposed ward
- Independent evaluation by professionals other than those chosen by the proposed guardian
How Can a Vandalia Guardianship Attorney from Lovett & House Help?
The Lovett & House attorneys have decades of experience handling every type of Ohio estate planning issue, including guardianships. Our goal is to make your guardianship issue as simple and transparent as possible. Should a dispute become unavoidable, we can represent those who find themselves involved in guardianship litigation. Having a highly-skilled Vandalia guardianship attorney from Lovett & House can make a significant difference in the outcome of a guardianship procedure. Since guardianships can be complex, we will explain the process in an easy-to-understand manner, answering all your questions in a comprehensive manner. Contact Lovett & House today for the solid legal assistance you need and deserve.