Watching your parents age can be difficult. Much like children, aging parents are often desperate to assert their independence. They can be fiercely protective of their freedom, lashing out at anyone who suggests they need daily medical support or that they shouldn’t drive.
They may also struggle to make decisions in their own best interests. Legal action may become necessary for those who worry that their parents can no longer manage their own affairs. How can you protect your parents from their own limitations if you live in North Carolina?
A guardianship can help you protect your parents
Adults usually have the legal authority to make their own decisions once they turn 18. However, in some cases, older adults or those who suffer catastrophic medical events might lose that independence through court proceedings.
North Carolina law allows family members and even professionals concerned about the cognitive state of an adult to ask the courts to intervene by placing them under a guardianship. If the courts review medical or financial documentation and determine that the older adult is incompetent, they can appoint someone as a guardian.
Incompetency can be difficult to prove, but everything from statements from unpaid creditors to diagnostic paperwork could help you show that your loved one can no longer manage all of their own affairs without support. Although they may resent you for infringing on their independence, you may have to make a difficult decision to ensure they are safe and receive the care they need.
A guardianship will empower you to make medical and financial decisions for your loved one so that they don’t make a mistake that causes irreparable damage. Learning about guardianship and incompetency could help you decide if your family needs to request a special proceeding.