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Seeking guardianship for an aging parent

On Behalf of | May 19, 2022 | Blog, Guardianships

As parents get older, making normal decisions becomes more difficult for them. You may consider writing a will for them or creating a power of attorney. In Florida and other states, there is the additional option of becoming the guardian of an elderly parent and making important decisions on their behalf.

What a guardian does

Guardianships are used to describe people who want control over the lives of children or disabled adults. Guardians make decisions about another person’s everyday needs from shelter to hygiene. They make decisions about major life events, such as financial planning and medical emergencies.

Obtaining a guardianship is appropriate to care for a severely mentally or physically disabled adult. It is not appropriate in every situation. For some parents, it’s more sensible to become a caretaker without filing for guardianship in court.

Legal protections

A parent tends to place more trust in an immediate family member, such as a child or sibling. As a guardian, an adult child acts on behalf of a parent to protect the parent’s tangible and intangible assets, privacy and legal rights.

Estate planning

A guardian often oversees the estate planning needs of an elderly parent. An adult child can choose themselves as the executor of the parent’s estate or select another family member or trusted associate. As the guardian, you can help a parent plan every step of the process from writing a will to making a list of beneficiaries.

Legal costs and complications

It’s necessary to file a guardianship in court, but the legal process and the costs could become too complicated. If the guardianship is challenged by another family member, the matter becomes more complicated.

A guardianship means making personal, health care and financial decisions for an aging parent. The parent may suffer from a serious mental or physical illness that is making life increasingly difficult. Assigning a responsible adult child for the role is often beneficial to a parent who needs the greatest legal and personal protections.