Growing old is inevitable. And as children, we can only hope that our parents grow old healthy. However, aging comes with both expected and unexpected situations. As our parents grow older, we expect that their ability to do certain activities will decrease, and they know it too. Then there are unexpected situations, such as mental impairment.
With these changes that come with aging, options to care for them have become available. This includes guardianships.
Voluntary versus involuntary
There are two types of guardianships in Florida, voluntary and involuntary. Courts can establish voluntary guardianship upon the petition of an adult who is no longer capable of managing their affairs and estate despite being mentally competent. On the other hand, involuntary guardianship refers to the situation where a court assigns another person to be one’s guardian after finding that that individual’s decision-making is heavily impaired.
Guardianship should be the last resort
Courts do not approve guardianship petitions that easily. They must ensure that no other less restrictive alternative is available and applicable to the situation. These alternatives may be trusts, durable power of attorney and other forms of preneed directives. The reason behind this is that guardianship technically strips an adult of their authority and freedom to decide and gives it to another person for them to manage.
When considering your parents’ future, it is good to familiarize yourself with available tools that can help you better care for them in the future. If you believe guardianship is the only way to address the situation, equipping yourself with the right information about guardianship can help you go through the process smoothly.