Often, difficulties arise before the death of a family member. When a someone begins to lose their ability to care for themselves or their property, or was incapable of developing those skills in the first place, it is usually close family members who step in to care for their loved ones. This may include making health care decisions or taking over someone’s finances. There are two ways to be legally recognized as the caregiver for an incapable person, either the incapable person themselves empowers someone else through a power of attorney document, or the court appoints a guardian of property or of the person.
The person who steps in to take over the care and management of another person is in a special relationship to that person, called a fiduciary relationship. Fiduciaries are held to a higher standard of care and owe certain duties and obligations to the person being cared for. There may be disagreement between family members about who should act as guardian, or over the actions taken by the guardian. We can help you navigate and resolves these disputes.