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Guardianship over adult children for personal, financial help

With our aging population, many families are seeking guardianship over elderly relatives to help manage their finances and personal affairs in the face of incapacitation due to illness, such as dementia, Alzheimer’s or other debilitating conditions. However, a guardianship or conservatorship can also be granted over younger people in cases of severe substance abuse, mental illness or other medical conditions that prevent the person from having the full capacity to make proper decisions for his or her own life.

Such is the situation in the case of Amanda Bynes’ parents. Her mother and father are seeking a legal conservatorship over the actress’ affairs due to her suspected mental illness. She has been reported to have erratic behaviors that have led to her current two week hospitalization in Los Angeles for a complete psychiatric evaluation. A hearing will be held in early August to determine the next steps in her parents’ quest for guardianship over their daughter.

If the court grants the requested conservatorship, Bynes’ parents would have control over all of her personal and financial affairs. This means she would be unable to make any financial decision, purchase or investment without their involvement. Similarly, they would be involved in deciding where she would live, if or when she could get married and more.

Such a move by parents to gain legal responsibility for their adult children can be a difficult and emotional one. Working with an experienced and understanding attorney can help make the process smoother and protect all parties appropriately.

Source: MSN News, “What happens if Bynes’ parents get convservatorship?,” Eli Epstein, July 27, 2013

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