Do we need a power/medical attorney or legal guardianship for a brain damaged family member?

UPDATED: Feb 17, 2012

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Do we need a power/medical attorney or legal guardianship for a brain damaged family member?

I have a 33 year old brother who has brain damage. My parents want me to establish guardianship or power and medical of attorney. Which do I need to have? He has no assets but is on SSI and Medicaid.

Asked on February 17, 2012 under Estate Planning, Virginia


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

If there is a family member who has brain damage and cannot make decisions on his or her own, a conservatorship or power of attorney would possibly be in order for this family member. The issue is to what degree does the family member have brain damage?

Meaning, can the family member per a doctor's opinion make an informed decision about signing a power of attorney? If not, then a petition for a conservatorship should be made. I suggest that you consult with an attorney that does elder care law further as to your two options and the circumstances concerning your brother.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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