Guardianships


Guardianship can be a difficult challenge for families, especially when the question of guardianship involves adult family members. As family members grow older; face special needs; or have mental or physical illnesses and can no longer manage their own affairs, they often need the support and guidance of another adult family member. Determining how these issues will be handled, especially when family members have different views can tear a family apart. One of the best ways to resolve guardianship issues of all kinds is through mediation.

Adult guardianship mediation is non-adversarial and effective in helping families involved in the dispute reach an agreement concerning the care of their loved one. It utilizes a neutral third party (the mediator) to help parties discuss issues concerning their loved one in an open and comfortable forum. Mediators help the family to ensure the loved one maintains his or her autonomy and dignity to the extent possible; is protected financially; and receives the best care possible.

Mediation helps families explore their alternatives and it encourages consensus-building, helping families preserve relationships between family members and caregivers. Mediation ensures loved ones receive the best and most appropriate assistance in the calmest and most stress-free environment possible.

The key to a successful guardianship mediation is to work with an experienced mediator, capable of educating all parties as to what can realistically be achieved for the loved one. The mediator often presents alternatives, such as money management services, bill-paying services, home care, durable powers of attorney, advance directives for health care, etc.

If you are in a situation involving a loved who may need a guardian or help managing their affairs and want to avoid an expensive drawn-out family dispute, Joan Geiger can help.