If you've recently begun providing daily assistance to a parent who is no longer able to fully care for him- or herself, you may be wondering how best to proceed. Obtaining long-term nursing care for your parent when you're no longer able to do these tasks yourself can be an expensive prospect -- you may need to sell your parent's home or liquidate his or her retirement accounts to pay for private care. However, you can't perform any of these without the ability to legally act on your parent's behalf. Read on to learn more about what you may need to do to help manage your parent's financial affairs by seeking a legal guardianship.
What is a legal guardianship?
A guardianship is a type of legal status that allows you to act and make decisions on the grantor's behalf when it comes to legal, financial, and healthcare-related issues. While a guardianship may not be necessary if the subject individual has vested healthcare or financial power of attorney in another individual, if the subject is unable to consent to a legal decision like granting a power of attorney to a relative or friend, a court-ordered guardianship may be the only option. This will allow you or another person receiving guardianship responsibilities to manage your parent's financial affairs (everything from rebalancing investments to liquidating funds to pay for necessary expenses) and health care, including long-term nursing care.
How do you seek a guardianship?
To obtain guardianship of your parent, you'll need to file a petition with the circuit or superior court in the county where your parent lives. This petition should be prepared with an attorney's assistance, and will set out the specific factors that demonstrate why your parent needs someone else to handle decisions on his or her behalf. The court will then set a hearing and appoint an advocate for your parent to ensure that his or her best interests are being heard.
At the hearing, the judge may question you or your parent to get a feel for your credibility and the level of your parent's decision-making skills. After the hearing has concluded, an order will be issued granting or denying guardianship. If the guardianship is granted and you're named guardian, you'll be able to use this order as documentation to access your parent's bank accounts or enter into transactions on his or her behalf -- including paying for nursing care and seeking other necessary care and treatment.
For more information, contact Hamilton Michaelson & Hilty LLP or a similar firm.Share
4 September 2015
There are so many legal situations that you can find yourself involved with, but do those situations really require that you hire an attorney? Some instances you may not need an attorney working with you, but in other situations, an attorney is definitely a necessity. This blog contains tips and advice for working through the different elements of the legal system. You will find information that can help you determine if/when you need to hire an attorney to represent your best interests. Knowing this information can help you avoid the costly mistake of taking on the legal system without someone who knows how the system works.