Guardianships are something that most people don't think about until a need arises. In Pennsylvania, relatives may become incapacitated and unable to care for themselves. It is a fact of life that, as our loved ones grow older, they may not be able to make appropriate decisions for themselves and may not have planned ahead for this possibility. For other families, a special needs child could be born, who will never have the capability of caring for himself or herself due to a physical or mental disability. When these types of situations occur, guardianships may be needed.
The good thing about guardianships in Pennsylvania is that these issues come from a place of love. No one wants to see their relatives go through hard times when they are suffering from dementia or have special needs that leave them unable to make important financial or medical decisions. It is at this point in life when caring relatives can step in and ask a court for legal permission to be allowed to tend to these matters as guardians.
One of the most important tasks that a guardian - once appointed by the court - will need to complete is to see what type of public benefits, if any, for which the special needs child or elderly person may be eligible. Often, programs such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can provide much needed funds and Medicaid can provide much needed medical coverage.
At our law firm, we do our best to help our clients plan ahead to try to avoid guardianships. Unfortunately, not everyone plans ahead by having Powers of Attorney prepared and signed. If no planning was done, many Pennsylvania residents have more questions than answers, but they want to do the right thing. At Sikov and Love, we attempt to ensure that our clients have the information they need to make the right decisions about pursuing a guardianship. For more information, please visit our law firm's website.