In many cases, watching a parent age can be difficult. Though some individuals may age gracefully and maintain many of their mental and physical abilities, you have noticed that is not the case for your parent. While the concerns you first had may have been minor, you may now feel that your parent no longer has the ability to properly handle his or her affairs due to mental decline.
If your parent did not take the time to create a power of attorney document, it is likely that your father or mother did not legally appoint someone to act on his or her behalf in the event of incapacitation. As a result, you may have to take certain legal steps to take on this role. Specifically, you may need to pursue guardianship.
Guardianship of an elderly person
While many people may think of small children who have lost their parents when it comes to seeking guardianship, the term also applies to situations in which elderly individuals or adults with special needs require care. You may feel ready to take on the role of guardian for your parent to prevent him or her from being taken advantage of or from making serious financial mistakes, but you cannot simply start handling your parent's affairs. You must first go through a legal process.
In order to obtain guardianship, the court must declare your parent incompetent and, therefore, unable to handle his or her own affairs. If this declaration takes place, the court would then give the appointed guardian the ability to manage medical decisions, finances, living arrangements or a combination of these responsibilities. However, the process may not be entirely smooth and straightforward.
In some cases, you may have a sibling or other loved one who does not believe you should take on the role of guardian. Your parent may even protest needing someone to handle such affairs. As a result, the process can become long and difficult as well as emotionally taxing.
Understanding this option
If you truly believe that the time has come to seek guardianship over your parent, you may benefit from gaining reliable legal information regarding this avenue. As mentioned, it may not be easy, and preparing for the process may help you understand what you are getting into. Speaking with a Kansas attorney could allow you to learn more about seeking guardianship, a guardian's responsibilities and handling any arising conflict.