Should You be a Guardian to Your Parent with Alzheimer’s Disease?

alzheimersWhile it may seem like the natural step to get legal guardianship over a loved one who is struggling with Alzheimer’s Disease, you should be aware of the level of involvement and commitment required in managing your loved one’s affairs. Not only is this difficult, but the process of actually obtaining a legal guardianship can be difficult, expensive, and time-consuming. Thus, it is important to know what is involved in legal guardianships before pursuing one.

Obtaining Guardianship

Whether an individual is granted guardianship over another individual will ultimately be decided by a judge, and that decision involves varying factors that can result in different outcomes.

First, there are two different types of guardianship that a person can be granted over an aging and/or incapacitated loved one: guardian of the person or guardian of the estate. A person granted guardian of the person will have responsibilities including controlling medical treatment and organizing living arrangements of the needy person. On the other hand, a guardian of the estate will only be responsible for the individual’s financial matters.

Therefore, the type of guardianship granted to an individual over his or her family member dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease may depend on the ability to handle necessary tasks of the guardianship. For example, if an individual is attempting to obtain a guardianship of the individual, he or she needs to live close to the person so that daily tasks can be handled. On the other hand, if an individual is attempting to obtain guardianship of the estate, it is beneficial if the individual has experience dealing with financial matters. These factors will be considered by the judge, who will make the final decision.

If You are Granted Guardianship

Once you are granted guardianship, this does not mean that your appearances in court are over or that the decision cannot be changed. You may also have to appear in court for some of the following reasons:

  • You will have to document and report the money that you use from the individual and you may be required to appear before a judge to review your expenditures
  • You may also be required to appear before a judge when faced with a big decision, such as the selling of a house or placing your loved one in a nursing home facility.
  • If other members of your family are not pleased with your power over a shared loved one’s affairs, and/or believe that you are mismanaging them, they can appeal for a review of the case, which could result in additional court time and more lawyer’s fees.

Know Your Options

It can be a difficult to have a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease. Oftentimes, they are frustrated and angry, incapable of remembering important facts and details about their lives and affairs. Because of this, you may feel that it is your responsibility to care for him or her by obtaining legal guardianship. While this is certainly an option, there are other options. For example, if you feel incapable of performing the tasks necessary to care for the affairs of a loved one, a judge can appoint a paid professional guardian to manage your loved one’s affairs.

Contact Us

If you are applying for a guardianship or are currently reviewing your guardianship, do not hesitate to call Andrew Lamkin at 516-615-0625, and he will be happy to provide you with an initial consultation that is free of charge to discuss your case. This process is difficult for anyone, and having experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel at your side can be of great service.

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