As time passes, many people find themselves taking care of their parents. This might include shuttling parents to medical appointments or helping them move into a smaller, more manageable living situation. Many people find themselves assuming responsibility for a wider range of tasks when it comes to caring for their parents. In these situations, many people assume legal guardianship of a parent, provided the parent reflected this decision in his or her estate plan and power of attorney documents. Unfortunately, there are some situations in which, even if you were granted the power of attorney, you still might need to petition for guardianship of a parent. This article will review some of the most common situations in which you might need to file a petition of guardianship over your parent.
Additional Medical Care is Required
There are some situations in which a person might need to petition guardianship to protect a parent’s health because the decisions in question are not authorized by the healthcare proxy. This might include situations in which a parent is unable to understand the differences between health care choices.
A Parent’s Decision-Making Capability is Reduced
A person might need to petition for limited guardianship of a parent if that parent is able to manage some areas of his or her life, but not others. For example, a court might grant guardianship over a parent when it comes to financial decisions, but not for health care decisions.
A Parent Must Go to a Nursing Home
If a parent has gotten to the point that he or she is no longer able to take care of him or herself without supervision, a child may need to consider admitting that parent to a nursing home. Sometimes, however, a parent may resist going to a nursing home. In these situations, you might need to petition for guardianship.
A Parent Refuses to Sign a Power of Attorney Document
Even after being diagnosed with the early signs of serious conditions like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease, some parents still refuse to sign estate planning documents granting a child power of attorney. Often in this situation, the child decides to let the parent continue making financial and health care decisions on his or her own until the parent is no longer aware of what he or she is doing. At this point, a skilled estate planning lawyer can help you file for guardianship over your parent.
Speak with an Experienced Michigan Guardianship Lawyer
Because petitioning for guardianship can be particularly costly and can also take a significant amount of time, it is often best to avoid guardianship decisions by making sure that a parent creates an estate plan that fully reflects his or her decisions. Speak with a knowledgeable estate planning lawyer today who can help you make these decisions. At Resnick Law, we have helped many parents create estate plans, and we are skilled at handling these situations even when unique obstacles arise. Contact our law office today to schedule an initial free case evaluation.
(image courtesy of Huy Phan)