"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."

~ Niccolo Machiavelli, historian and writer

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Guardianhip - A Middle Ground

I am pleased to say that one of the things returning to the practice of law has done is open up a lot more options for how I can be of benefit to the disability community. There is one particular option in this regard that I would like to highlight today.

If you've been reading this blawg for very long, then you are no doubt quite familiar with the Nova Scotia Legal Guardianship Kit.

The great thing about the Kit is that it gives families who have decided that guardianship is the best choice for their loved one the opportunity to obtain that peace of mind without incurring the high costs traditionally involved with retaining a lawyer. And it gives me a very good feeling to know that that option has been opened up to families for whom finances might otherwise be a barrier.

However, I realize that many continue to struggle with taking that plunge into the legal world, with taking on the commitment of preparing their own documents and appearing in court on their own without the services of a lawyer. I am happy to say that there is now another option I can offer for families in such a position.

In addition to the "either/or" options of retaining a lawyer or bringing a guardianship application on your own, I can now offer you a third option. In fact, some families have already successfully taken advantage of this third option. It combines the very best of the previous options in that allows you to save a significant amount of money while still having the services of a lawyer in reserve, so to speak, to use only as and if you need them.

What I am talking about is purchasing the NS Legal Guardianship Kit, doing the costly time and labour-intensive work of preparing the documents yourself (with the assistance of the Kit) and then hiring me on what we call a "limited scope representation", meaning using (and paying for) my services only if and when you feel you need them.

For some families that has meant preparing the documents themselves, but then having me review them before they are filed so they can walk into court confident that they have provided all the information the court requires to understand why guardianship is in the best interests of their family member.

For others, it might mean having me appear in court upon their behalf after they have completed the required paperwork.

And then there are those that fear that they might run into a few questions or concerns along the way as they are preparing the documents and need someone to run such potential issues by.



The beauty of this option is that the possibilities of just how much legal assistance (and in what areas and combinations) a family might require to complement the NS Legal Guardianship Kit are practically endless. It truly is individualized service, individualized to the particular needs of your family.

Perhaps it's time to coin a new acronym. ILS - Individualized Legal Services.

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