At The Van Winkle Law Firm, we have experienced attorneys who focus on trust, estate, and elder law to provide counsel and advocacy to individuals seeking guardianship for vulnerable or incapacitated adults. Often, there are no appropriate plans to determine who should serve as the decision-maker or if the appointed person fails to adequately fulfill his or her responsibilities. Our litigation attorneys support and advocate for our clients in guardianship disputes, involuntary commitment proceedings, and fiduciary removal proceedings and enforce the rights of incompetent individuals and their families. These matters can be quite complex and sensitive cases. Conflict within families requires professional attorneys and mediators to amicably resolve.

Our elder law attorneys and dispute resolution lawyers in North Carolina work diligently to serve our clients and protect vulnerable or incapacitated adults. For more case-specific information, contact us at The Van Winkle Law Firm to schedule a case consultation with our knowledgeable North Carolina attorneys.

Protecting Vulnerable Adults

Older adults and individuals with capacity limitations are at greater risk for financial and personal exploitation. Caregivers present the greatest risk, and most elder financial abuse cases come from the misuse of authority granted to a person under a power of attorney or trust document. This misuse of power can often go undetected for extended periods and cause significant financial and emotional distress to the victim and their families. Our attorneys work with all individuals interested in the well‐being of an older or incapacitated adult to prevent and interrupt financial abuse. Our elder law attorneys have comprehensive knowledge of applicable laws to best serve you and your family. We help our clients with estate planning documents, guardianship proceedings, elder abuse and neglect cases, and all civil litigation matters that have or may arise.

Incompetency, Guardianship, and Involuntary Commitments

Van Winkle’s Trusts, Estates & Elder Law attorneys provide counsel and advocacy to individuals seeking guardianship for a vulnerable or incapacitated adult when plans are not in place to transfer decision‐ making, when conflicts arise within families about who should serve in this capacity, or when an appointed fiduciary fails to adequately fulfill his or her responsibilities. We advocate to enforce the rights of adults under a guardianship (including terminations of guardianships and restoration of capacity when appropriate), to enforce the rights of spouses and dependent children of incompetent individuals, and to support the stewardship of assets in the manner most advantageous to the incapacitated adult. In certain cases, involuntary commitment proceedings may also be appropriate, and we provide guidance and support for individuals initiating such proceedings.

Fiduciary Accounting and Removal Proceedings

A fiduciary is a person or group who acts on behalf of another person, typically a minor, incapacitated, or vulnerable adult. They are meant to act without self-interest as they are bound legally and ethically to act in the best interests of the party they represent. Fiduciaries can take advantage of their situation and need to be removed from their positions. When friends or family suspect an adult may be vulnerable to a fiduciary agent, such as an agent under a power of attorney or a trustee, we can intervene to help protect the vulnerable person’s assets or remove the agent or trustee. Our attorneys can also represent you or your family members in any other disputes relating to estates, trusts, and inheritance issues. We seek to mediate differences to reach an amicable resolution, but we have a great depth of litigation experience if that becomes necessary. Contact us to schedule an appointment for a personalized case consultation with one of our knowledgeable and experienced civil litigation attorneys.