Informally caring for a loved one? Why guardianship may be needed

We have recently noticed an increase in people contacting us who have cared for a loved one for years informally and are unaware that legal framework may require to be in place to enable them to carry out this role. If the person they are caring for does not have legal capacity, then the appropriate way to do this would be to apply to the court for a guardianship order. Our case study below gives an example of how such a situation can arise and how we can assist.

Case Study *

William Brown recently contacted us seeking further advice regarding guardianship and whether this was required for his brother. William had been the sole carer for his brother since his parents had passed away around 20 years ago. Although William had always cared for his brother by himself, he now required additional support to assist him with his care. Upon contacting the relevant care providers, William was informed by a Social Worker that he did not have legal authority to make decisions in respect of his brother’s welfare and he would require a guardianship to enable him to continue his role as a carer. William was surprised as he had cared for his brother for years without any legal framework in place and had never heard of guardianship or realised it could apply to his situation.
We explained the guardianship procedure to William and reassured him throughout the whole process. He realised that obtaining a guardianship order from the court t would mean he could always ensure that his brother was well cared for and could continue to take decisions regarding his brothers welfare. William was extremely happy at the level of service he received and how stress free we made it for him.

We are experts in this area of the law. We understand that many families will informally care for their loved ones, including siblings, parents and children once they reach the age of 16. However, this is not legally sound when decisions are being taken for an adult who does not have capacity without the appropriate framework in place. We can guide you through the process, as we did for William, and ensure that the powers you require and seek are proportionate and will allow you to continue to make decisions in the best interests of your loved one or relative. We know that the process can seem daunting, but we are here to remove the stress and worry of the situation for you. If William’s situation sounds familiar, please contact us without delay to discuss your options on 01383 431 101 or alternatively contact us via the enquiry form.’

*names have been changed to preserve anonymity.

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