It’s difficult to watch your aging parent decline, and more difficult still to realize they are no longer able to manage alone.
Your elderly loved one may be capable of managing their personal care but is making bad financial decisions. Fortunately, guardianship isn’t all or nothing.
Guardianship of the person
A guardianship of the person is a legal arrangement where someone takes responsibility for another person’s welfare and has the authorization to make decisions on their behalf. This type of guardianship gives you the ability to ensure your loved one is in a safe environment where their needs are being met.
Guardianship of the property
When your parent’s cognitive abilities decline to the point of no longer making sound financial decisions, a guardian of the property can take control of the financial aspects of a person’s life. This type of guardian is responsible for paying bills, managing assets and watching out for scammers who target the elderly.
Guardian of person and property
Guardianship of either person or property is a limited guardianship. As the name implies, a guardian of both person and property is a full guardianship. In this case, the guardian makes all the ward’s decisions. An attorney can explain the details and handle the legal process of obtaining a guardianship.
The physical and cognitive decline of your elderly parent may happen quickly or over a long period, but at some point, you may have to intervene. Guardianship takes some or all of a person’s rights away, and even mentioning it may make your parent and the rest of the family angry at you. But be strong, because protecting your elderly parent is the right thing to do, even when it’s difficult.