Parents often serve as the Guardian of the Estate and Person for their disabled adult children. As the parents get older, they often contemplate who will serve as their successor Guardian for the disabled adult child. Often, the parents have other children who can serve, but sometimes, the parents do not have that “go to” person whom they can identify.
A Guardian of the Estate and/or the Guardian of the Person can nominate a Standby Guardian who, after being appointed by the court, and upon the incapacity or death of the guardian, will have the full authority to act as the disabled person’s guardian for a period of 60 days without court intervention. In that 60 day period, the Standby Guardian can petition the court to be appointed as the disabled adult’s permanent or “Plenary” guardian.
This appointment of a standby guardian puts in place a plan to provide for the disabled adult upon the death or incapacity of the plenary guardian. This plan is very helpful in situations where a guardian may have someone, other than an immediate family member, he or she wants the court to appoint as his or her successor. It is also hopeful that by appointing this standby guardian, the current guardian can help prevent any future litigation as to who will serve as the guardian of the disabled adult. This is especially true where an adult child serves as the guardian for a disabled parent.