Legal Blog

The Weekly Scenario: Petition for Guardianship

Question: What factors should I consider before I potentially hire an attorney to file a petition for guardianship for my elderly father?

Answer: A guardianship proceeding can be a valuable tool to assist seniors and their families in difficult circumstances. But a guardianship should typically be viewed as a tool of last resort because the end result is often taking away one’s right of self-determination.

Here are a few items that you should consider before moving forward with a guardianship petition:

  • Are there estate planning documents in place that are less restrictive to a guardianship? Is the Power of Attorney able to address the individual’s needs?
  • Could the estate documents be subject to a challenge due to capacity issues of your father, undue influence or even the improper execution of the documents?
  • Will the mental capacity of your father likely decline further in the near future?
  • How vulnerable is your father from being taken advantage of if there were no one to take control of his finances?




As always, if you have any questions or would like to learn more, please contact Steve Shane at or 301.575.0313.


Steve Shane Casual | 301.575.0313

Steve Shane provides strategic counseling to clients in need of estate administration, charitable giving and business continuity planning while minimizing estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax exposure. He offers legal guidance to clients on asset protection and the proper disposition of assets in accordance with the client’s objectives, while employing tax planning techniques such as the use of irrevocable trusts, life insurance planning, lifetime gifts and charitable trust. He is also experienced with drafting documents for business planning, the incorporation and application for exemption for Private Foundations and the administration of decedents’ estates.




Offit Kurman is one of the fastest-growing, full-service law firms in the Mid-Atlantic region. With over 150 attorneys offering a comprehensive range of services in virtually every legal category, the firm is well positioned to meet the needs of dynamic businesses and the people who own and operate them. Our eleven offices serve individual and corporate clients in the Virginia, Washington, DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York City regions. At Offit Kurman, we are our clients’ most trusted legal advisors, professionals who help maximize and protect business value and personal wealth. In every interaction, we consistently maintain our clients’ confidence by remaining focused on furthering their objectives and achieving their goals in an efficient manner. Trust, knowledge, confidence—in a partner, that’s perfect.

You can connect with Offit Kurman via our Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, and LinkedIn pages. You can also sign up to receive Law Matters, Offit Kurman’s monthly newsletter covering a diverse selection of legal and corporate thought leadership content.