As your parents age, you may wonder about their future and your responsibility to care for them. If your parent’s physical and mental health deteriorates, you may need to make some financial and legal decisions on their behalf.
At Applegate & Dillman Elder Law, we acknowledge that you want the best for your parents, but this can be a challenging responsibility to consider. We will help you evaluate your options to ensure your parents benefit from appropriate guardianship. Our holistic services and experience have enabled us to help hundreds of like-minded adult children help their parents secure guardianship.
What is an Adult Guardianship?
A guardianship or conservatorship is a legal responsibility issued by a judge to a responsible adult to make decisions involving another person’s health care, daily life, or finances. The guardianship is established when the adult cannot perform tasks like maintaining hygiene and taking medication.
The guardian may not be held liable for poor judgments made on behalf of the incapacitated adult. However, if it is proven that they stole, committed fraud, or recklessly handled the person’s assets, they may be held responsible.
The guardianship lasts for as long as the person cannot make decisions. A financial guardianship may end as soon as the conservator has no assets to manage.
When Should You Seek Adult Guardianship?
Seeking adult guardianship is a personal decision based on special circumstances. Instances in which guardianship may be necessary include the following:
- You or your loved one may not be able to handle critical affairs due to incapacitation.
- Severe harm is likely to affect the individual if they do not have someone to make decisions on their behalf.
- There are no agreements to manage the decision-making ahead of time. Guardianship may also be ideal when the existing voluntary agreement is not functioning as it should.
The decision to seek guardianship should not be based on stereotypical handicaps and old age assumptions.
Can You Choose Who will be Your Guardian?
You have the liberty to choose a guardian, or the court can appoint them. This means that your guardian could be someone you never wanted, probably an estranged child or relative. At Applegate & Dillman Elder Law, we will help you ensure you select the suitable guardian to take over your responsibilities in incapacitation.
What are the Benefits of Adult Guardianship?
- If the court appoints your guardian, they have a fiduciary duty to act in your best interests. The court will oversee how the assets are managed and how the decisions are made.
- Assets are appropriately managed.
- You will now have someone to consent to any medical treatment.
- When necessary, you or your loved ones will have someone to engage third parties like physicians, law enforcement agencies, and long-term care facilities.
Schedule an Appointment Today
At Applegate & Dillman Elder Law, we will help you choose the right guardian to act on your behalf if you become incapacitated. If you are an adult child, we will offer the legal support you need to secure guardianship for your parents when the need arises. Contact us now to learn more about how you can benefit from our life care planning services.