In some ways, vulnerable older adults are a lot like children. They may struggle to care for themselves and may not have the proper perspective to make decisions in their own best interests.
Like children, older adults experiencing cognitive decline or struggling with health issues like Alzheimer’s disease may require support from others to handle their day-to-day lives, including having someone to manage their finances.
Asking for guardianship can be a way for families to support a vulnerable aging adult. You will typically need to prove incompetency in the North Carolina courts when requesting a guardianship.
How do you prove someone’s cognitive struggles?
The easiest way to convince the court of someone’s diminished capacity is to present medical evidence. A diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease or dementia could be enough to show that an older adult needs regular support.
If your loved one does not have a specific condition but currently struggles to take care of themselves properly and to manage their own affairs, documentation of how they have fallen behind financially or missed important appointments could help you convince a North Carolina court that your loved one requires indefinite support from other people who will act in their best interests.
Medical records, financial documents and even statements from family members, neighbors and service providers could help you establish your loved one’s struggles and convince the court to give you the necessary authority to support them. Gathering the necessary evidence to establish incompetence will be an important step for those hoping to secure a guardianship and protect a vulnerable family member.