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Guardianship Incapacitated Person

Guardianship for Incapacitated Person

Pittsburgh Guardianship Attorneys

Do you have a family member or friend whom you believe needs a guardian? In Pennsylvania, legal guardians can be appointed by the courts for adults over the age of 18 who lack enough capacity to manage their own affairs. A guardianship begins with a petition to the court, which can be filed by any interested person. However, the court must review and decide if the disabled person meets the legal definition of “incapacitated” according to Pennsylvania law. Once a guardianship has been established, it is the court’s responsibility to oversee the guardianship to ensure that it is carried out in the best interests of the incapacitated person.

If you wish to establish a guardianship for an incapacitated person in or around the greater Pittsburgh area, you can rely on the high-quality legal service you will find at Blaine Jones Law, LLC. With over 60 years of shared experience among our accomplished legal team, your case will be in the hands of proven professionals. Our Pittsburgh guardianship attorneys have an abundance of experience handling all types of issues in civil courts. We have the knowledge, resources, tools, and skills to help you resolve your guardianship matter with diligence and efficiency.

Need to establish or contest a guardianship? Contact us at (412) 475-0062 to arrange to talk to an attorney. You can also contact us through our online form.

Guardianships in Pennsylvania

The legal definition of an incapacitated person under Title 20 Chapter 55 of Pennsylvania law is an adult “whose ability to receive and evaluate information effectively and to make and communicate decisions in any way is impaired to such a significant extent that he or she is partially or totally unable to manage his or her financial resources or to meet essential requirements for his or her physical health and safety.” The person may be developmentally disabled or someone who has become impaired through advanced age, illness, or injury.

Once the court receives a petition from someone seeking a guardianship, it must conduct a hearing to decide whether the incapacitated person meets the legal definition. Then it can determine what type of guardianship is appropriate. Under the law, the guardian will be responsible for making decisions for the incapacitated person (known as the “ward”) pertaining to health, finances, and other life matters. The guardian who is appointed may be limited to only financial affairs or life decisions or may be appointed to handle both, which could be said to be nearly all the ward’s affairs.

Two types of guardianships may be issued by Pennsylvania courts:

  • Guardianship of the Person; this guardian makes life decisions regarding the health, safety, living arrangements, food, clothing, medications, cooking, and other daily matters of the ward
  • Guardianship of the Estate; this guardian is in charge of handling the income, real estate, investments, and any other assets or benefits of the ward and has a fiduciary duty to manage these properly and in good faith on behalf of his or her ward

Guardianships may also be issued on an emergency or permanent basis. An emergency Guardianship of the Person is commonly appointed for 72 hours when the ward has encountered some sudden medical condition. An emergency Guardianship of the Estate may be appointed for a period of up to 30 days. A final Guardianship, which is permanent, is also called a “plenary” guardianship.

Those who wish to become guardians must undergo a criminal background check. Once appointed, they must submit reports to the court regarding their actions and will be subject to tracking under the Guardianship Tracking System implemented by the state.

For legal help with any Guardianship issue, reach out to Blaine Jones Law, LLC to speak with an attorney today. We are available at (412) 475-0062.

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