As we get older, it becomes harder for us to stay on top of all of our affairs. That’s just part of life. But your abilities may be even more diminished if your physical and mental health has steadily declined over the years. In these instances, you might find that someone close to you thinks that you’d be better off if you were subjected to a guardianship. If you become a ward, the individual who is appointed to be your guardian will have full control over important life decisions, including those that are financial in nature as well as those that relate to your health care.
Although many guardianships are agreed to and otherwise don’t create any conflict, they can go sideways, leaving you feeling like you’re being taken advantage of and that your interests aren’t protected. If you’re worried about that and feel capable of making your own decisions, you might want to consider challenging a proposed guardianship.
Challenging the proposed guardian’s suitability
When challenging a guardianship, one of the first things that you should do is consider the proposed guardian’s fitness. Since this individual will be responsible for managing your financial affairs if guardianship is granted, any history of poor money management is certainly going to be relevant. You might also want to look for other issues that could be indicative of poor judgment, such as a history of substance abuse or gambling issues.
The proposed guardian also has to have an understanding of your daily needs. If they’re unable to articulate what you need, you might be in a better position to challenge the guardianship petition that’s been filed against you.
Challenging lack of capacity
Even if a proposed guardian is fit and proper, a guardianship should only be granted if you’re deemed to lack the capacity necessary to manage your own affairs. While your family members and friends might be able to testify about your ability to adequately live your daily life and meet your own needs, your doctor’s opinion could be crucial here.
A medical professional can give an expert’s point of view about your physical and mental capabilities, which can carry a lot of weight in court. If you haven’t been examined by a doctor in a while, then it might be a good idea to seek out an examination if a petition for guardianship has been filed.
Remember that the focus is on what’s best for you
As you figure out how to challenge a guardianship, it’s helpful to remember that the court is going to try to do what it thinks is best for you. While the proposed guardian might argue that something like your refusal to take medication is indicative of incapacity, you might be able to effectively counter them if you can clearly articulate the reason why you’re acting the way that you’re acting.
Before heading into court to challenge the petition, make sure you have an understanding of what the proposed guardian is going to argue and how you can counter it. Your attorney should be able to help you do this.
Don’t leave your future in someone else’s hands
A guardianship can reshape the way that you live your life, taking control away from you pertaining to everything from money management to your medical decisions and your daily living.
If you want to try to retain control over your life, you need to be prepared to aggressively contest the guardianship petition that’s been filed in your case. We know it can be difficult to comprehend why this is happening to you and figure out your next steps, but that’s why skilled law firms like ours are here to provide advice, guidance and advocacy.