Do you have a loved one who can no longer make decisions that are in their best interest? You have options and one is seeking a guardianship. This can allow you to step in and make personal and financial decisions.
- A developmentally delayed children has grown up, but still needs assistance
- An elderly person loses some of their mental and/or physical capabilities and need help managing their affairs.
In the first instance, a guardianship is usually no more than an extension of the arrangement that existed during childhood.
For the elderly, it may represent a difficult role reversal. Often the appointed guardian is an adult child, nieces or nephews. The elderly person may have even been a caretaker or adult role model for much of the time.
The guardianship process
A guardianship can protect an elderly or disabled individual from poor decisions and help preserve their safety and their financial assets. Before the court will appoint a guardian, a psychiatrist will normally conduct an evaluation.
The psychiatrist will issue a report determining two things:
- Is a guardian necessary in the first place?
- What amount of decision making is required – broad or limited scope?
Often separate guardians are appointed for the same person. A finance professional may handle the banking accounts and pay necessary bills. While a family member could make decision about the day-to-day, including housing and help with daily care.
Separating duties can eliminate some of the stress on any one person. It also ensures that each person has the appropriate skill set.
When it comes to these types of cases, every situation is different. An experienced guardianship lawyer can help you navigate the process. Before a loved one gets into trouble, find a solution that will work for your family.