As your parents grow older, there may come a time when they can no longer make decisions regarding finances and medical treatment. At that point, it may be time to consider petitioning the court for guardianship. Guardianship allows you to assume control when your aging parent is no longer able to make reasonable decisions. Guardianship may be necessary even when there is an estate plan already in place, especially in the following situations.
Refusal of nursing home care
Transitioning into a nursing home is challenging for most people. No one wants to leave their home and belongings behind, but it may be in the person’s best interest when advanced medical issues are a factor. If your parent refuses the necessary care, guardianship puts the power to choose in your hands. That way you can select a home that is best suited to your parent’s needs, which ensures your mom or dad is well cared for even when you’re not around.
Administration of medical treatments
It is true that a healthcare proxy allows you to act on another person’s behalf regarding medical decisions. However, this authority kicks in when the person is incapacitated by illness or injury. There may also come a time when your elderly parent must consent to medical treatment, but is unable to due to dementia or Alzheimer’s. In this case, establishing guardianship will allow you to consent on his or her behalf, so you can rest assured quality treatment is received.
Refusal to establish a power of attorney
The onset of age-related cognitive impairment can cause issues in other ways. Elderly people with dementia are often the target of financial scams, which may result in them losing large sums of money. If you notice your loved one’s mental health deteriorating and they are not willing to sign a power of attorney, a guardianship is the next best thing to preserve their finances.