In the best-case scenario, every Pennsylvania resident would have estate plans and long-term care plans in place for when they are needed. Unfortunately, most of our readers know that the reality is that way too few people have these types of plans in place. In some cases, this means that when someone becomes incapacitated in some way – unable to take care of themselves, their financial affairs or their own health care – another person must step in to take care of those needs. This is what is referred to as “guardianship.”
In Pennsylvania, the law states that a person who wishes to step into this capacity as a guardian must submit a petition to the court. According to the law, the petition must include quite a few details about the situation, such as: a description of who has been caring for the person; a description of the physical or mental condition that has incapacitated the person; and a description of other alternatives – less restrictive ones – that have been attempted prior to seeking the appointment of a guardian. A hearing will be held, at which time, if the petition is successful, the court will hold that the designated person is incapacitated and a guardian will be appointed.
When it comes to the duties of the appointed guardian, the main description is quite broad: to take care of the rights and best interests of the incapacitated person. If the incapacitated person is able to express their wishes in any way, those wishes must be respected to the greatest extent possible. But, otherwise, the guardian is required to maximize the incapacitated person’s participation in all aspects of their financial and personal affairs.
When it comes to guardianship law in Pennsylvania, our readers may find that they have more questions than answers. Getting the right information about the law is a good move to make sure that all of the required steps are taken in full compliance.
Post Type: TOPICAL