Omaha Guardianship Attorney
Omaha Guardianship Lawyer
When someone in your family can no longer make decisions for themselves due to age, illness, or injury, they may need to have a guardian appointed to help make decisions on their behalf. A guardianship is a legally arranged relationship in which the guardian is responsible for making personal and financial decisions for the ward. If you are considering becoming someone’s guardian or if someone you love needs a guardian, it is vital to understand the process and your responsibilities. An Omaha guardianship attorney can help guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have.
Representing Omaha With Guardianship and Other Estate Planning Services
At Stange Law Firm, our Omaha attorneys have experience handling guardianship cases. We understand the significance of ensuring loved ones are taken care of, and we can help you through the process. We can also help with other estate planning services, such as conservatorships, which you may need to consider as part of your Sarpy County guardianship planning. The best way to be advised of exactly what you need is to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.
How Does Guardianship Work ?
A guardianship is a legal relationship where the guardian has the authority to make financial decisions for the ward. The ward is usually a minor, but they can also be an adult with mental or physical disabilities that hinder them from making decisions for themselves. In Nebraska, there are two types of guardianships:
- Guardianship of the Person: This type of guardian is responsible for making decisions about the ward’s daily care, such as where they will live and what medical treatment they will receive.
- Guardianship of the Estate: This type of guardian manages the ward’s finances, including paying bills (mortgage, child support, etc.) and investing money.
The court appoints a guardian after considering the ward’s best interests. The court will also consider any preferences the ward has expressed about who they would like to be their guardian. Once a guardian is appointed, they must regularly report to the court about the ward’s condition and how they manage their finances.
How Does Conservatorship Work in Omaha?
A conservatorship may be more appropriate when someone cannot take care of their personal or financial affairs. A conservatorship is a legal arrangement where a person (the “conservator”) is appointed by the court to manage the affairs of another person (the “ward”). The ward is typically a person who is unable to take care of themselves or their finances due to incapacity, age, or disability.
The conservator has a clear fiduciary duty to the ward, which means they must act in the ward’s best interests. They have the legal authority to make significant decisions about the ward’s care, medical treatment, living arrangements, and finances.
A conservatorship can be a powerful tool to protect a vulnerable person, but it should only be used as a last resort. Before a conservatorship is established, other options should be considered, such as a durable power of attorney or a medical power of attorney.
What is the Difference Between Guardianship and Conservatorship?
When a person cannot take care of their personal affairs or property, the court may appoint someone to do so for them. The terms “guardian” and “conservator” are used to describe this type of relationship. A guardian is a person who is appointed by the court to make decisions about the personal care of another person. A conservator is a person appointed by the court to manage the property and finances of another person. In some cases, one person may be appointed to both roles. In other cases, different people may be appointed to each role. The court will only appoint a guardian or conservator if it finds that the person is unable to manage their own affairs. The court will also consider whether there are any less restrictive alternatives available, such as a power of attorney or trust.
What Key Conditions Must Be Met Before the Court Will Appoint a Guardian or Conservator?
There are a few key conditions that must be met before the court will appoint a guardian or conservator:
- The person must be unable to take care of themselves or their property: Convincing the court that the person cannot take care of themselves or their property is the most important part of the process. This can be done through testimony from medical professionals or other witnesses who can attest to the person’s incapacity. If these witnesses are not available, the court may appoint a professional to evaluate the person, such as a psychiatrist or geriatrician, who will provide a written report to the court.
- There must be no less restrictive alternatives available: The court will only appoint a guardian or conservator if there are no less restrictive alternatives available, such as a power of attorney or trust. Sometimes, the court may appoint a limited guardian or conservator with specific powers rather than appointing someone to take over all the ward’s affairs as well. In other cases, the court may find that a less restrictive alternative is not available and that a full guardianship or conservatorship is necessary. The only way to know for sure is to talk to an experienced attorney and advance your case to a conclusion.
- The guardian or conservator must be willing and able to take on the responsibilities: The court will not appoint someone to be a guardian or conservator if they are unwilling or unable to take on the responsibilities. The court will also consider whether the guardian or conservator is suitable for the job, considering their relationship to the ward and any potential conflicts of interest.
Contact Stange Law Firm Today
If you have a loved one who cannot take care of themselves or their property, you may be considering guardianship or conservatorship. Unfortunately, the complexities of this process can overwhelm some into inaction, which only further harms the person in need of help. The experienced guardianship and conservatorship attorneys at Stange Law Firm can help you navigate the process and ensure that your loved one is taken care of in the best way possible. Contact us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to meeting and learning more about you and your family.
Douglas County (Omaha), Nebraska Office (402-509-1801): 4611 S. 96th St., Suite 111, Omaha, Nebraska 68127