Guardianship is a legal tool that allows someone to make decisions on behalf of another person and to provide care for another person. Guardianship is usually pursued for someone who can’t care for themselves or has made decisions causing themselves harm.
The legal option of guardianship may be pursued in cases of mental illness, adults with special needs and seniors who face dementia or other conditions leaving them unable to care for themselves. In most cases, guardianship is a last resort, undertaken when someone is struggling and needs a guardian to make decisions for them.Contact Us
Guardianship Laws in Delaware
In Delaware, guardianship is decided by the Court of Chancery, which is also the court that can appoint a Guardian in these situations. Delaware recognizes guardianship as the appointing of a person to make financial or medical decisions for someone who is incapacitated or disabled.
The state recognizes three types of guardianships:
- Guardianship of an adult’s property and assets
- Guardianship of an adult
- Guardianship of a minor’s property and assets
In a guardianship case, families go to court to ask the court’s permission for guardianship. Usually, there is a suggestion made as to who will act as the guardian. Evidence might be required to prove that the person in question agrees to guardianship or that guardianship is necessary.
In some cases, families cannot agree amongst themselves as to who should act as guardian for a minor or adult in need. Families may have different ideas about care or may be contentious due to past disagreements or divorce. In these situations, attorneys may need to work with the courts to keep the best interests of the at-need adult or child in mind.
How an Attorney Can Help
The process of seeking guardianship is often very stressful. Often, the situation leading to the guardianship has been difficult and may have included instances of self-harm or self-neglect. In many cases, decision-making and independence is difficult to surrender, so those who need someone to care for them will fight the situation.Contact Us To Schedule A Consultation
The family members who seek to assume guardianship may feel guilty about wanting to take over decision-making for someone else and may feel anxious about the future of their relationship with the person affected. At the same time, they may feel scared about what can happen to their loved one without guardianship.
An attorney can enter this time of family crisis to offer advice as well as support in different capacities. An attorney can:
- Advise you about the law and about your specific situation
- Gather evidence that guardianship is needed
- Prepare you for court
- Take care of the paperwork needed in the case
- Represent you in court
At Rahaim & Saints, our attorneys focus on family law and have helped appoint many guardians in a variety of situations. We know that sometimes everyone in a family agrees on a need for guardianship and works together. More commonly, there is disagreement about the need for guardianship and contention about who to appoint as guardian. In both cases, Rahaim & Saints can offer full support.
If your family agrees about guardianship, we can work to ensure all the paperwork is filed promptly. If disagreements occur, we can help everyone understand the options and even offer mediation as needed. We can offer advice about professional support and resources available for Delaware families.
Every step of the way, our goal is to help you make the best decisions for you and your loved ones. If a member of your family is having trouble making decisions or caring for themselves, contact the family law attorneys at Rahaim & Saints to fully review your options.