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What option is available for declaration of an elder's

Customer Question
What option is available...

What option is available for declaration of an elder's inability to care responsibly for his own safety or that of others when said person refuses to cooperate in the process? Must the affected loved ones have to wait until a crisis occurs such as a fatal auto accident or sudden medical emergency?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is he in? It matters because laws vary by location.

Arizona; he's my husband and an alcoholic whose doctor advises him against driving for medical reasons, but the DMV required his signature to agree to revocation of his license!

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps has he taken so far?

Sorry, what steps has my husband? None; he continues to drive occasionally and never follows any doctors' recommendations.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

What will this cost me?

Lawyer's Assistant: It can cost anywhere from $10 to $100, depending on the type of issue and how much of the Lawyer's time your question is expected to take (how complex and lengthy an answer you require).

Ok

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/14/2018
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13,305
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Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
sure
Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

Thank you for your patience on this. You shouldn't have to wait until something goes wrong as the courts have ways to help you help adults who cannot otherwise care for themselves.

It's not out of the ordinary for people to want to help take care of the medical and financial needs of another adult. To do this, you are going to need to get guardianship (sometimes called conservatorship) over the person. If you are looking to have legal rights over them, then you must go through your state's court system. It typically starts with filing a petition, which is just a request through the courts to become the person who makes decisions on their behalf. Once you fill out the petition, you should make three copies: one to you, one for the court, and\ one that may go to other people such as the person over whom you’re seeking guardianship and other family members in most jurisdictions. It is critical to understand that the courts are bound to look at what is in the best interests of the ward above all else. This means they will look into who and how the person’s health, finances, welfare, and safety are best going to be served. Sometimes, this can be inconvenient for the petitioner, but because the ward cannot protect themselves, the court takes it upon itself to protect them. The bright side is that if you understand this in advance, then you will have an edge because you’ll be seeing this process through the court’s eyes.

Regardless, once you have filed the documents, someone who is over 18 and not a party to the case will serve the document on the other party. If someone contests the guardianship, they will have a chance to respond to the petition and they will serve you as well. The court will likely set a date where they will either order mediation or they will make a decision at that time. If you can’t agree at mediation or if the court decides it needs more info, then it is likely you would go to a trial where you can put on witnesses, provide your own testimony, and let the judge make a ruling after that. Those are less likely scenarios, but they come up on occasion.

The order is enforceable from the moment it is entered and if a party fails to abide by the order, then they are going to be held in contempt of court.

How else can I help you today?

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

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