Could guardianship be right for your elderly loved one?

Dec 08, 2020

When an elderly loved one begins to show signs of not handling his or her affairs properly, it can be a difficult time for any Florida family. You may have concerns that someone will take advantage of your loved one financially or that his or her personal and financial affairs will fall into chaos because they are not being attended to correctly.

In some cases, a loved one may be approachable and open to having assistance with his or her personal matters. If so, you may be able to come up with a plan to help your loved one and possibly even have him or her name you as a power of attorney agent to handle certain matters. However, if your loved one is resistant to help and matters are only getting worse, you may need to consider legal guardianship.

What does guardianship involve?

Seeking guardianship over your loved one would mean that you could handle his or her personal and financial affairs without needing your loved one’s permission to take those actions. Of course, you cannot simply claim guardianship. You would need to petition the court in efforts to have the court appoint you as your loved one’s guardian. This process is not easy and can involve proving that your loved one is incompetent.

If the court does deem your loved one incompetent and approves your petition to become guardian, you would then take on the responsibility of handling your loved one’s living arrangements, financial affairs and medical care. This authority could prove vital in the event of an emergency, but it is important to remember that it would also involve taking on the daily responsibilities for another person, which is not something to enter into lightly.

Taking the best approach

It is also important to remember that the court may deem your loved one incompetent but may not consider you right for the role of guardian. Knowing what the court looks for in a guardian and whether you may fit the criteria could be worth understanding before you take on this endeavor.

Because seeking guardianship of an elderly loved one is complex, you may want to ensure that you have the right help and know how to take the best approach. Working with an experienced elder law attorney may help you address your concerns and determine how you could help your loved one during this difficult time.

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