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What is a guardian? By definition, a guardian is someone who is legally responsible for taking care of another person. Ultimately, guardians are appointed in order to protect people from harm and to act in their best interests. Someone can be appointed another’s guardian for many different reasons. Perhaps your elderly parent or family member is no longer able to take care of him or herself, whether it is their finances, their property, or their health. People also become guardians of disabled adults. One of the most common situations of guardianship in St. Louis is that of a child.

If you’re seeking guardianship of someone, it is because you want to help them and provide stability and protection. The last thing you want to happen is the legal process to go awry and you not being able to do that.

By working with a family lawyer who has experience in the St. Louis guardianship process, you can stay positive that your efforts will not falter. As a family lawyer, I know that you want to be responsible for someone else, and it is my responsibility to take care of your case, helping you from day one. As your guardianship attorney, I’ll be there to answer your questions and provide resources throughout the process. Below are questions I commonly receive about guardianship.

How is Guardianship Different from Adoption?

When you become a guardian of someone, their parent doesn’t lose their paternal rights. As their legal guardian, you’ll have the rights of a parent. When you adopt someone, though, a parent loses their rights when they sign forms allowing you to adopt the child. When extended family members or grandparents are the primary caregivers of children, they commonly become legal guardians. It allows them to take proper responsibility of the child, but also not take away the rights of a parent.

Is a Legal Guardian the Same as a Durable Power of Attorney?

A durable power of attorney is a person you appoint to handle financial or legal issues in the case that you become unable to do so. They can pay bills and act in your interests when you can’t do it. Guardians, though, aren’t’ necessarily appointed by the incapacitated person themselves. The court appoints them after a person is unable to handle things themselves. While some of the functions are similar, a durable power of attorney is more of a “just in case” measure. Many appoint them when they are diagnosed with a fatal disease or are going to be having surgery, or other dangerous procedures.

If you have questions about guardianship or know already that you want to become one, call my office in St. Louis so that we can get started. At Bardol Law Firm, LLC, I help people take care of their loved ones by helping them take on the legal responsibilities involved.

Contact my office, and let me help you help the people you love and cherish most.