Watching a parent age can be emotionally challenging. After all, while your mother or father cared for you through the early years of your life, you may have to switch roles in your parent’s golden years. If your parent becomes incapacitated, you may need to ask a Florida court to name you his or her legal guardian.
Choosing to petition for guardianship of an aging mother or father can be a tough decision. Still, it is often the right course of action in certain circumstances. Here are three signs that you may need to pursue guardianship of your elderly relative:
1. Compromised decision-making ability
To secure guardianship, you likely must prove incapacitation. That is, your mother or father must have difficulty making decisions about property, health or safety. Certain medical conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, may compromise an individual’s decision-making abilities.
2. Evidence of undue influence
If your elderly parent needs help with everyday tasks, he or she may have a caretaker or another type of helper. Unfortunately, unscrupulous individuals may unduly influence your mom or dad. For example, a health care assistant may encourage your parent to rewrite his or her will, naming the caretaker as a direct beneficiary.
3. Disagreement over medical care
Every person should have the right to make his or her own health care decisions. Still, both aging and medical conditions can interfere with anyone’s ability to make critical choices. If your parent refuses to do what is necessary, such as move into a care facility, pursuing guardianship may be a valid option.
Even though you may not enjoy petitioning a court for guardianship of your elderly parent, doing so may be in his or her best interests. Nevertheless, you may need to act quickly. By knowing when to pursue guardianship, you boost your odds of safeguarding the interests of your aging mother or father.