Understanding Guardianship of the Elderly

Understanding all of the intricacies associated with guardianship of the elderly can be a complicated task. However, when looking past all of the detailed legal terms involved, there are a number of simple and easy-to-understand guidelines that should help.

Rules Surrounding Guardianship of the Elderly

In essence, guardianship of the elderly refers to the ability for someone to be deemed by the court to be the rightful guardian for an elderly person. Many times, the guardian is given the title due to the subject being ill or incapacitated and therefore unable to look after him or herself anymore. Those who are appointed by a judge to be a legal guardian for the elderly should understand that they will now have to make all of the decisions for their ward. This means that the guardian is entirely responsible for the well-being of the person for whom they have been awarded guardianship.

The courts must first come to the conclusion that the elderly person in question needs a guardian and cannot make basic decisions. The judge may also choose to grant limited guardianship. For instance, limited guardianship can often be determined if the elderly person can provide for him or herself financially, but cannot do so in regards to physical needs, or vice versa. Once guardianship is granted, the guardian does not have to acquiesce to the demands of the elderly person, as he or she is no longer in charge of his or her own decisions.

Who is Eligible

The most basic of rules for eligibility to be a guardian states that the person must be at least 18 years of age. It’s possible for any person that is officially chosen by the elderly person to become a guardian. Despite this, it is oftentimes impossible for the elderly person to even have the faculty to do so.

Those that are relatives or close family members of the subject can apply to become a guardian, while anyone else that the court deems appropriate may also serve as a guardian. If there is no one available to become the guardian for the elderly person, the Department of Social Services may step in and do so.

Required Documents

Becoming a guardian for an elderly person doesn’t require endless amounts of documents. It’s necessary to apply and fill out any paperwork provided. Once the paperwork has been filled out, it should be taken to a nearby probate court, where they will schedule a hearing. The only fees that are required include a fee to obtain the paperwork and another fee to file.

For anyone considering guardianship of an elderly person, it’s important to understand that this is not a light matter. Being given guardianship over a person’s entire decision-making process is a huge responsibility. If you feel that this is the correct decision to make, the aforementioned guide should help you to have a better understanding of the process involved.

Contact Us

Let the professionals at the law office of Andrew M. Lamkin, PC answer your questions about guardianship. Contact them today at 516-605-0625 to get the help you need!

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