While an estimated 6.5 million people received Social Security benefits last year, many first time applicants were denied and others had their benefits terminated. Insufficient medical proof of a disabling physical or mental impairment is often to blame for a negative outcome.
Probate is the process of transferring the property and belongings of a person who has died to their heirs. The probate system is intended to help heirs and beneficiaries clear title to assets as easily as possible, and to prevent false claims against the decedent's estate. Many banks and other institutions will not release funds and assets to the heirs of the decedent account owner without a probate order which protects them from liability.
The death or incapacity of a spouse, parent or relative is a traumatic experience. Grief can cloud judgment and make even the simplest task complicated. Individuals responsible for handling the affairs of a loved one bear a legal as well as an emotional burden. Often, during their emotional distress they fail to retain legal counsel and, as a result, end up needlessly complicating the probate or guardianship process.
Guardianship grants an individual legal authority to manage the affairs of a loved one who is unable to make their own decisions due to physical or mental incapacitation. Placing a person under guardianship removes many civil liberties that citizens in America enjoy. A ward loses the right to manage his or her own affairs; to choose where to live; to consent and refuse medical treatment; and even the rights to vote and to drive.