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3 Tips For Obtaining Guardianship Of An Elderly Parent

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Do you have a parent who is struggling to care for themselves? Are bills going unpaid? Perhaps they can't handle simple tasks in their home, like bathing, cleaning, or dressing themselves. If so, it may be time to consider filing for guardianship. Guardianship is a legal status in which you become the designated caretaker for your parent or other adult relative. It means you are responsible for managing their money, paying their bills, making medical decisions, and even managing their day-to-day affairs. Obtaining guardianship is easiest when your parent and other siblings are involved in the decision and agree. However, there can be instances where the parent does not want guardianship, or other relatives disagree with the process. Below are a few tips to guide you through the process.

Decide what type of guardianship is necessary

Most states offer several different kinds of adult guardianships. There are guardianships of the estate, which means you manage their money and pay their bills. You do not make healthcare decisions or other choices for them. There are also complete guardianships, in which you manage their money and every other aspect of their lives. Most often, courts prefer to protect as much independence as possible. If your goal is to help them manage their money better, apply for guardianship of the estate. That's the least intrusive form of guardianship and is more likely to be approved than total guardianship. Don't ask for more control than is necessary.

Talk to your parent and other relatives

Guardianship works best when everyone is in consensus. It becomes a challenge when the parent or other relatives dissent and challenge the process. Before applying for guardianship, talk to your parent, siblings, and any other involved relatives for support. These conversations are a good opportunity to get their feedback and for them to ask questions. If you can reach a full consensus and everyone agrees, the legal process will be much easier. If your parent or another relative challenges the guardianship, you could have a long legal fight.

Obtain documentation and supporting evidence

If your parent suffers from a cognitive issue like Alzheimer's, they could fluctuate back and forth between supporting the guardianship and resisting it. They may not remember ever giving their support. It's important to have credible, third-party documentation that supports your cause. Obtain medical reports from their healthcare providers. Obtain testimony from your siblings or other adults who deal with your parent. Get bank statements to show the mismanagement of money. Anything you can provide from a third party that supports your case will be helpful.

Ready to protect your elderly parent? Contact a guardianship attorney in your area today. They can help you navigate the process and reach your desired outcome.