guardianship of mentally ill sibling in washington state
The sibling I am referring to is an older brother who is both physically and mentally disabled/ill. I have found that he is making inquiries into getting a car, loans for higher education and other similar things marketed by telemarketers and through the internet. The biggest problem is that he has no income other than ssdi. In the past when he's gotten caught up with the telemarketers, he has defaulted on payment of services since he has no way to pay them back. He says he understands the legal implications but he still takes the bate and gets into trouble. Is it time for legal guardianship to save this person from themselves? If so, what is the process. Thanks in advance for any assistance.
Family Law Attorney
You petition the court for guardianship. The court appoints a guardian ad litem, to evaluate whether guardianship is appropriate and who is the best person or entity to be the guardian. In order to attain guardianship, the court will need to find that your brother is incompetent (incapacitated). At that point, any contracts that he has entered into are void, because he lacks competence to enter into them. The debt collector would be out of luck.
Washington permits partial or full guardianship, so you or another party could be guardian of your brother's financial matters, but not over health care decisions; or any combination of involvement that is appropriate.
Anyone can petition the court for guardianship, although it can be a difficult without an experienced attorney. I do not specialize in guardianship, but would be happy to refer you to someone, if you decide to go this route. I would of course recommend seeking counsel. Feel free to email with additional questions.