5 Signs You Need Guardianship Over An Adult Loved One
By: Solid Serenity Legal Solutions
Estate planning attorneys often urge their clients to get the appropriate documents in place to prevent their families from going to Court to get guardianship over them when they can’t make decisions for themselves.
But, not everyone listens. And, even when they do sometimes, there are situations that come up that force a family to apply for guardianship.
Here are 5 signs you need guardianship over an adult loved one.
(1) Your Loved One Won’t Sign a Durable Power of Attorney
When your loved one doesn’t have a Durable Power of Attorney in place, you have no choice but to get a guardianship to help them when they can’t care for themselves.
If you have the “talk” with a parent whose health is beginning to fade or they are in the early stages of dementia and they refuse to sign a Durable Power of Attorney, you will need to be observant and aware.
When you get the feeling your loved one’s condition has advanced to the point they would sign anything put in front of them, or do anything someone asks of them, you need to start planning to get guardianship.
(2) Your Loved One Needs Properties or Investments Sold
In some states, you have to get Court permission to sell property and investments even if your loved one has a Durable Power of Attorney. There are also circumstances where the Durable Power of Attorney will not cover selling property.
If your loved one does have a Durable Power of Attorney in place, have a trusted advisor review the document to help you decide if you have the power to sell your loved one’s property. When you don’t have the authority in a Durable Power of Attorney, or there is no Durable Power of Attorney in place, you need to seek guardianship.
(3) Your Loved One Needs Assisted Care, But Refuses to Go
Once a person reaches the age of 18, they are presumed to have the ability to make decisions for themselves. So, if your loved one truly needs assisted care and irrationally refuses to go, the only way to force the issue is to prove to a Court that your loved one can’t care for themselves.
(4) Your Loved One Needs Medical Help and Is Incapacitated
Without the proper documents to allow you to bypass the Court system, you will need guardianship to consent to medical treatment on your loved one’s behalf when they are no longer able to consent. Even with the right estate planning documents, there are certain situations where guardianship may be necessary to protect your loved one medically.
(5) Your Loved One Needs Help in Specific Areas of Their Life
Guardianship does not have to be all or nothing. Your loved one may have a sharp mind, but may have physical ailments that require a guardian for the person.
On the other hand, your loved one may be physically fit and capable, but needs help managing their finances because their mental health is in decline. You can apply for limited guardianship in these kinds of situations.
Guardianship is a long, complex, and costly proceeding. The best way to avoid the financial and psychological burdens of guardianship for your family is to put a proper estate plan in place.
Contact a trusted advisor to make your plan today.