Making the decision to petition to become a guardian for an elderly loved one is something that takes serious consideration. It's a difficult process, as it saddens us to see our loved ones get to a state where they can no longer care for themselves. In our previous blog, we talked about how to become a guardian of an elder. Today, our estate lawyer in Raleigh continues this discussion.
Becoming a Guardian | Estate Lawyer in Raleigh
As we mentioned in our previous blog post, a guardianship is a court appointed person that can care for a someone who is either under the age of 18 or is in a state where they are unable to care for themselves or make decisions about their life due to a mental disability or age. That person is considered a “ward.” When a guardian is appointed, he or she is able to act on behalf of the ward when it comes to decisions about health, finances and even living arrangements.
Our estate lawyer in Raleigh also offered a list of things that a guardian can also do for the elder they're caring for:
- Making living arrangements for the ward
- Arrange for other services such as counseling or services such as food delivery
- Make end of life decisions
- Act as representative payee and manage federal funds the ward receives
For instance, Grandma is 85 years old and lives alone, but she is not as sharp as she used to be. She forgets where she is sometimes and has had to have neighbors take her back home a few times. She does not want to leave her beloved house. Her granddaughter has offered to let her come live with her, but she refuses. She also does not want to get help from a caregiver who could sit with her a few days a week. As she gets older, her memory problems may worsen and her situation will become even problematic.
Someone needs to seek a guardianship so that Grandma can live in a safe environment with people who will care for her and where she can get medical care that she may not have sought herself.
If someone goes to court to get guardianship, he or she will need to show that Grandma is unable to care for herself due to age and dementia. A court psychologist can talk with Grandma to determine if she is incapacitated. The potential guardian will also need to show that he or she has a plan and that her finances will be used appropriately.
If Grandma has moments of clarity and understands what is going on, she will probably be hesitant to give up her rights. She may even feel betrayed. It may be a good idea to have a conversation with her when she is in a state where she understands. She should be reassured that having an appointed guardian will be in her best interests, and that you want her to be protected and safe.
If you are considering seeking guardianship for an elderly parents or other loved one, you can consult with our estate lawyer in Raleigh who practices elder law. He or she will know your state’s guidelines and will be able to guide you through the process. Contact us to learn more.