Guardianship Administration & Litigation
Unfortunately, issues often arise relating to the care and protection of disabled adults. These issues most often occur with older adults. In fact, according to the National Council on Aging, approximately 1 in 10 Americans over age 60 have experienced some form of elder abuse. Yet, at least one study estimates that only 1 in 14 cases of abuse are ever reported to authorities.
Abuse and exploitation by a guardian is common. Additionally, many individuals acting as an agent under a power of attorney document take advantage of the elderly person they are supposed to be helping. The elderly and disabled have rights under the law, and the Hays Firm can help you take legal action to protect these individuals’ rights.
Seeking Protection from Abuse
If you suspect abuse, it is first necessary to ascertain whether there a guardian has been appointed. If there is no guardian appointed, then the Hays Firm will help you ascertain if power of attorney documents or other Estate planning documents are in place. If there is a power of attorney in place, and you suspect that the agent acting under the power of attorney is financially exploiting the disabled or elderly adult, there are several courses of action one may take to protect the disabled individual.
First and foremost, if you are concerned about a serious crime or physical abuse, we encourage you to contact your local police department and your local center for the elderly. If your concerns are limited to financial exploitation, the Hays Firm can work with you to investigate whether any wrongdoing has taken place. Then, the Hays Firm can help you develop a plan to protect your loved one from further abuse.
If you suspect the court-appointed guardian is abusing or exploiting the disabled adult, you may be able to file a motion in court to bring the suspected abuse to the court’s attention. Because each case is different, we encourage you to contact our office and speak with an attorney or paralegal. The course of action taken inside or outside of the courtroom will largely depend upon the situation you and your loved one are facing.
Services Relating to Guardianship Litigation
- Setting up trusts for a disabled adult family member with special needs
- Ensuring that a special needs trust is properly administered
- Review of all Power of Attorney documents
- Review of Court file relating to Guardianship proceedings
- Initiating and prosecuting the proceeding to remove Guardian
- Initiating and prosecuting claims for an Accounting by agent under Power of Attorney
- Representation in Court for persons objecting to guardianship
- Litigation relating to the validity of Power of Attorney documents