Our Indianapolis Brain Injury Lawyer Can Help Protect Those Incapacitated by Traumatic Brain Injuries
A guardianship is a legal relationship between a court appointed guardian and an incapacitated individual. The guardian has the legal right and the responsibility to make decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person and protect that person's interests. Guardianships are common in brain injury cases, and it is crucial to have an attorney who understands the process and implications.
Brain Injury and Guardianships
If your loved one has suffered a traumatic brain injury, his or her life may never be the same again. It is important to understand all available options as you begin to put the pieces back together. Depending on your situation, a guardianship may be the right answer for protecting the personal, medical, and financial interests of your incapacitated loved one.
As you consider your options, remember the importance of having the advice of an experienced attorney. At Doehrman Buba, our Indianapolis brain injury attorneys have considerable experience representing brain injury victims in Indiana and across the nation. This includes experience working with doctors to obtain the proper documentation and overseeing how a guardian is impacting patient's life and finances.
Does Your Loved One Need a Guardian?
In determining whether a guardianship is the right answer, it is important to find the answer to the following question: Is your family member able to manage his or her own property, evaluate information effectively, and then communicate an informed decision? If not, you might consider a guardianship to protect your loved one's finances, health, and safety. Our Indianapolis brain injury lawyer can help you legally appoint a guardian or, if one is already in place, we can help make sure the guardian has the tools to take care of a brain-injured person and is upholding his or her fiduciary obligations.
Guardianships vs. Powers of Attorney
A guardianship is not the only method for helping a brain injured person with important decisions. Sometimes an adult is incapacitated and a guardianship is necessary; a guardianship, however, confers all rights to another person and puts another person in almost complete control. In some situations, injured people may not need or want a guardianship if they can make some medical or financial decisions on their own in their own best interests. A lesser form of control and oversight in the form of a power of attorney may be more appropriate in such a case.
Some of the ways in which guardianships differ from powers of attorney include:
- The court must confer a guardianship after notice and a hearing; the parties to a power of attorney can typically create the power without court approval.
- The court must approve any substantive decision or request the guardian makes on the ward's behalf. With a power of attorney, court approval is usually not necessary.
If the brain injured person is involved in a lawsuit to get compensation for the injury, the guardian must go through the probate court for approval of any settlement, asset protection, or proceeds distribution. A power of attorney allows the parties to make decisions about when to settle and how to distribute the settlement funds without probate court interference, which can save time. However, whether a guardianship or a power of attorney is best for the injured person depends on the particular circumstances of the case, so discussing these options with an experienced attorney is the best way to begin.
Contact Our Indianapolis Brain Injury Lawyers Now to Discuss a Guardianship for TBI Victims
To learn more about guardianships, contact our Indianapolis brain injury attorneys now to discuss your case. We can help you decide if a guardianship is right for your injured loved one, and we can make sure your loved one’s guardian is performing to the standard your loved one deserves.