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In certain instances the need for a court proceeding and court appointed guardian could be avoided by having a Power of Attorney in place prior to an event that could lead to incapacity such as a coma, stroke, Alzheimer's disease. There are several types of Powers of Attorney that can be drafted and tailored to your specific wishes.  A Power of Attorney gives you the power to decide who will make decisions on your behalf when you are no longer able to.  HOWEVER, for those moments when life throws you a curve ball and you or your loved ones are not prepared, we would be happy to work with you through the court process of establishing the right level of guardianship. 

Alternative to Guardianships

  • Limited Guardianship
  • Power of Attorney
  • ​Living Wills
  • Special Needs Trust
  • Representative Payee

Guardianship is a legal process where the court appoints a person with the legal duty and authority to make decisions for a minor or someone over the age of 18 who lacks the capacity to manage his/her own affairs or communicate important decisions concerning his/her self, family or property.  This lack of capacity could be due to mental illness, developmental disability, injury, disease, senility or any or similar condition.

In North Carolina, there are 3 types of guardians: Guardian of the Estate, Guardian of the Person and General guardian.  A guardian of the estate is appointed solely for the purpose of managing the property, estate and business affairs of a ward.  A Guardian of the Person is appointed solely for the purpose of performing duties relating to the care, custody, and control of the ward.  The guardian of the person does not handle any of the ward's money or property.  A General Guardian is a guardian of both the estate and the person.  Guardianship can be limited if there are any rights, power and privileges that the ward can retain.

Relevant Reading:

"Wake County Clerk of Court: Guardianship/Incompetency Proceedings"

Guardian/Incompetency generally begin as a Special Proceeding.  However, guardian of the Estate for a minor begins in the Estates Division....

"Establishing guardianship requires due process"

Because establishing guardianship is a legal process that involves the removal of the individual’s rights, considerable due process protection often exists when the guardianship is established.....

"Putting you in good hands"