We all seek to live long, healthy, and active lives, but the truth is that many adults have a long period at the end of life when they are unable to make decisions for themselves. This might be due to dementia, a stroke, or some other significant medical condition. The question is, who should make major decisions for that adult?
If a loved one in your life, like a grandparent or aging parent, is becoming less capable of handling her own affairs, you may be considering electing a guardian. An adult guardian can be appointed by a judge to make decisions for your loved one. Is this the right path for your family?
How Does Guardianship Work?
A guardian can be defined as a person with the legal authority to care for another person when that person has become incapable of caring for herself and her own interests. In the state of Florida, a guardian must be appointed through the court system, and the individual pursuing guardianship is required to obtain representation from a licensed attorney. The four most common types of guardianship that courts approve are emergency temporary, limited, complete, and voluntary.
What Signs Indicate That Guardianship Is Necessary?
It can be challenging and emotional to make the final determination that your loved one requires a guardian. The following signs indicate that your loved one would benefit from the election of a guardian:
- Your loved one lacks the capacity to make reasonable and informed decisions about her daily care and safety.
- Your loved one is incapable of meeting the essential requirements for physical health and safety such as health care, food, shelter, clothing, and personal hygiene.
- Your loved one is suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or another form of dementia
Who Is Best to Serve as a Guardian?
While the court can elect a guardian if needed, the best choice is somebody close to your loved one who understands her needs and cares about her wellbeing on a personal level. Spouses, adult children, relatives, and close friends are all qualified candidates as long as they meet the Court’s requirements.
Guardianship is often necessary, but it is also a complex process that requires the support of a skilled elder law attorney. For compassionate help and support arranging your loved one’s guardian, call 941.567.1671 to schedule a consultation with The Law Offices of Kimberly K. Muenter in Tampa, Florida.