What you may need to know about guardianship

When you discover that an aging parent may no longer be able to care for him or herself, you may begin looking for a way to help. Someone may have mentioned to you that you could seek a guardianship, but you are not sure what that entails. Before heading to a Palm Beach-area court, it may be a good idea to understand the basics.

A guardian may be appointed when the court determines that the ward, or incapacitated person, has a physical or mental condition that precludes the individual from making decisions or taking care of him or herself. The court prefers to appoint a guardian who has significant ties to the ward. If you are seeking guardianship for an ailing parent, you could fit that requirement. In order to be appointed, you need to be willing to take on the responsibilities and duties of the job. Just as importantly, you need to keep the ward's best interests in mind when making any decisions.

This is crucial since you would make decisions regarding your parent's finances, including the control of bank accounts. You would also be making decisions regarding the health care your parent receives. You would also be responsible for making purchases and payments on his or her behalf. For instance, you would purchase food, personal care items, and other household items. You may even make housing and transportation arrangements as well.

Taking on the duties of a guardian is an enormous undertaking. Before agreeing to do so, you may want further clarification of the duties and tasks you are required to perform. If you have questions regarding being a guardian and the guardianship process, it may be beneficial to seek out the counsel and guidance of a Palm Beach attorney who handles these matters.

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