Having the right to vote is an essential part of being a citizen, but it could be taken away if you become a ward in a guardianship. To avoid this little-known consequence, having a strong power of attorney is crucial. This legal document grants a trusted person the authority to act on your behalf in case you become unable to make decisions for yourself.
Unfortunately, elderly people are often forced into unnecessary guardianship proceedings, especially if there are disputes over finances or family relationships. Any adult person can file a petition for guardianship, but having a trusted agent designated before hospitalization can help defend against predatory actions.
Losing your right to vote is a real possibility if you become a ward in a guardianship. Many states have laws that disqualify people who have been adjudicated as incompetent, incapacitated, or of “unsound mind” from voting. However, the criteria to determine “unsound mind” is often unclear and can vary depending on the evaluator’s perspective.
It’s unfair to assume that someone who may need help with finances or driving is also incapable of making an informed vote. Denying a person the right to vote without just cause is discriminatory and goes against the principles of democracy.
To avoid this situation, it’s best to plan ahead and create an effective power of attorney with the help of an elder law attorney. This legal professional can guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected. Don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
At King Law, there are attorneys throughout North and South Carolina who handle these types of cases and can represent you in this unique situation. Call our toll-free number at 888-748-5465 (KING) to request a consultation with one of these experienced attorneys.