Washington DC Guardianship Attorneys

Legal Article

Washington DC Guardianship Attorneys

If you have an aging or ill relative, considering becoming or seeking someone else to become a guardian for them may be necessary. To do so, however, you will need to find a law firm that has Washington DC Guardianship Attorneys. Guardianship in DC is commonly used for people who are no longer able to completely able to handle their own finances, healthcare, or other critical daily tasks.

Antonoplos & Associates Washington DC guardianship attorneys have over 20 years of experience with estate planning matters. As such, our firm has perfected an individualized approach that can fit the needs and goals of any family.

Who Should Use a DC Guardianship

As healthcare and overall living standards have continued to rapidly improve across the United States, many people are living longer. Consequently, there is an increased population of aging Americans. As people age, they become more likely to grant their close relatives, and friends powers of attorney. This process allows for increased asset protection and allows someone else to ensure that their healthcare needs are being met.

Unfortunately, as an increasing number of Americans are granting power of attorney to their family or friends, certain state laws are changing to make this process more difficult. For example, many banks in Nevada have stopped allowing power of attorneys to make financial transactions on behalf of their family member or friend.

More and more states are adopting similar regulations curtailing power of attorney’s abilities. Thus, now more then ever one should seek guardianship under the District of Columbia law. A guardianship—also commonly referred to as a conservatorship—allows you to make medical and financial decisions for your relative or friend. Furthermore, you are also able to quickly complete the related necessary transactions to carry out the duties. Similar to a lawyer or realtor, once a  guardian has been appointed, they take on the responsibility of ensuring that his or her best interests are always accounted for in making these decisions and related transactions.

Different Types of Guardianships available in DC

There are three main types of court-appointed guardianships available in the District of Columbia:

  • Guardian of the Person — This type of guardian is responsible for the care, upkeep, education, and maintenance of the person. Guardians of a person are also commonly used for minors along with incapacitated adults.
  • Guardian of the Estate — Guardian of an estate is normally responsible for making financial decisions. This includes managing the person’s estate, paying bills, and providing for the remaining person’s financial needs.
  • Guardian of the Person and the Estate — This type guardianship is a combination of the first two choices. This option is commonly used by those that do not want either of their personal and financial decisions to be decided by a court if they were to become incapacitated.

How To Avoid Court-Appointed Guardians or Conservators

Our firm commonly helps families appoint their chosen guardians or conservator. Additionally, we create or revise estate plans that aim to avoid a court-appointed guardianship.  To achieve this goal, our guardianship attorneys focus on the portion of estate planning that deals with incapacitation planning. No one can ever predict when they may become incapacitated. As such, ensuring that you clearly state what you want to happen if you ever become incapacitated. This allows you to have some say if you are no longer able to speak for yourself.

Incapacitation planning involves executing documents that appoint agents to act on your behalf. Once appointed, your agent will be able to make decisions related to personal, medical, and financial matters in the event you become incapacitated.

Incapacitation planning documents commonly include:

  • Durable Power of Attorney — A durable or financial power of attorney allows you to appoint a financial agent who will your financial affairs. This includes the power to buy and sell and lease real property, tangible personal property, stocks, and bonds, to trade commodities, operation of a business or other entity, and governance over your bank accounts and other financial products you may own and a host of other powers.
  • Health Care Power of Attorney — A healthcare power of attorney is a legal document that lets you specify your medical treatment instructions in advance. This is a crucial document that protects you if you become incapacitated. It does so by telling your medical caregivers, family, and doctors will know your medical wishes.
  • Medical Directives and Living Wills — This document allows you to formally communicate your end-of-life medical requests to your loved ones. You can choose different healthcare treatment options considering multiple end-of-life healthcare emergencies. For example, you can choose different care options if you have a terminal condition, end-stage condition, or in a persistent vegetative state.

Contact our DC Guardianship Attorneys For More Information

For more information regarding our Washington DC guardianship Attorneys, call us at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.