Does More Than One Person Want To Be Guardian?
Frequently, guardianship litigation arises when multiple family members want to serve as guardian. For instance, when the elderly mother of three adult children develops Alzheimer’s and can no longer care for herself, all three of her children have an equal right under the law to serve as her guardian. Unfortunately, the concern that each child feels for providing care for their mother can often turn into jealousy or distrust of their other siblings. When it does, the siblings frequently hire separate lawyers to convince the Court that they are the appropriate person to serve as guardian and their sibling(s) is not a good choice.
A potential guardian must be qualified to serve, and they must not be disqualified from serving for some reason. Factors that might disqualify a guardian would include certain criminal history, being indebted to the incapacitated person, and being someone that the court finds unsuitable. Allegations that one sibling or another is unsuitable to serve as guardian generally involve concerns over their history of interactions with their mother, their own financial problems, and testimony from family members and friends as to who might do the best job taking care of their mother. As you can imagine, these disputes can be very emotional and require a significant degree of empathy from the lawyers involved in the cases.