Do you need to protect an aging loved one with a guardianship?

Do you need to protect an aging loved one with a guardianship?

On Behalf of | Jul 30, 2021 | Family Law, Incompetency & Guardianship |

Aging can compromise someone’s physical strength and mental acuity. Some people remain sharp and physically fit into their nineties and beyond, while others may start having trouble living independently when they’re barely into their senior years.

Age itself is not the determining factor in whether or not an adult requires a guardianship. Instead, the biggest issue is whether they have a lack of mental capacity, meaning an inability to take care of themselves or live independently.

Even when age or medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease affect an older adult, they may still resist or resent attempts to help them manage their lives. Sometimes, family members have to make the difficult decision to ask for a guardianship from the North Carolina courts to protect an older loved one.

How does guardianship work?

Guardianship is similar to being a parent. A guardian assumes responsibility for another adult and will have the authority to make medical and financial decisions for them. Guardianship helps protect individuals by making sure someone oversees their medical care and manages their finances.

You will typically have to go through and an incompetency hearing in court to secure formal guardianship over a loved one. That means you need evidence, such as rambling, confused voicemails or records of unpaid bills affecting your loved one’s finances. If you can show that they have lost the ability to act in their own best interests and manage their own household, the court may name you or another family member as their guardian.

Special proceedings like guardianship hearings can be difficult to navigate, but they can protect your family member and give you peace of mind. It’s wise to learn as much as possible about the process of seeking guardianship so that you can protect a loved one when they can no longer care for themselves.