As people age, they may need more help to take care of themselves. If your elderly parent can no longer live independently, you may need to become their guardian.
Becoming a guardian is a complex legal process and can depend on several factors.
How is guardianship decided?
To become your parent’s guardian, at least two people need to support the petition and file together. For example, you and another sibling may both allege that your parent needs a guardian. If you file alone, you need to include a report by a physician, psychologist, or licensed clinical social worker to support your petition.
Once you file the petition, notice will be given to your parent, their spouse (if living), and any other adult children. The court clerk will then schedule a medical professional or a licensed social worker to complete an evaluation before holding a hearing to determine whether guardianship is necessary.
The court will consider the parent’s physical and mental health, financial situation, and the quality of your relationship. It may also require you to undergo a background check.
If the court decides that guardianship is necessary, you will be appointed as the legal guardian of your parent and take an Oath of Office. At this point, you will be responsible for making decisions about their medical care, financial affairs, and living arrangements.
Becoming a guardian for your elderly parent can be complex, but it is important to remember that the court’s ultimate goal is to protect the welfare of the elderly parent. While becoming a guardian can be a big responsibility, it can also be a rewarding experience. Knowing that you are helping to care for your parent and ensure they are safe and comfortable can be a great source of satisfaction.