Legal Guardianship Entails Great Responsibility

If you are requesting legal guardianship over an individual, you need to understand that being a guardian is a great responsibility. The probate court oversees the petition process. You need to petition for guardianship with the probate court in the area where the person you want guardianship over resides.

The court where the person resides is said to have jurisdiction over the case. You need to show the person is incapacitated, that is, that the person cannot take care of himself. In many cases, adult children are finding it necessary to ask for guardianship over their aging parents who no longer care for themselves.

But realize that you will have many duties as a guardian. You are responsible for his living arrangements. You need to provide a safe and comfortable place for him to live. You need to choose a place that has the minimal living restrictions. This means if he or she can live well in an assisted living quarters, you will not be allowed to confine him or her to a nursing home.

You will be responsible for his nutrition. You have to realize that many people lose their appetite as they grow older. When elderly people do not eat regularly, they open themselves up to medical complications. There are many liquid diet supplements that are available for elderly people who forget or choose not to eat solid food. You need to meet with his doctor to find out the best source of nutrition.

Of course if you are asking for guardianship of a loved one, no one has to tell you to take good care of the person. But even the most patient son or daughter can be challenged by an elderly parent that does not want to eat, or go to the doctor, or take his or her medication.

You have to at all times remain patient and understanding. There are many professional counselors who meet with guardians to support their decision to be responsible for incapacitated parents or other loved ones. Take advantage of their services.

When you petition the court for guardianship, you will need to submit medical records out ling the degree of incapacity. You will also need to submit sworn testimony of people who agree with your petition. The guardianship might be for the life of the person, or you might petition for a time until the person regains capacity.

Once you are awarded guardianship, you will need to provide the court with updates about your care. You need to provide evidence that you are in fact taking care of the individual. Before you are granted guardianship, the court will appoint an independent, temporary guardian who will meet with the person to determine the need for guardianship. Once everything is in order and approved by the court, your legal responsibility begins.