Choosing Guardianship for Seniors – Five Factors for Consideration

By Melody Lynch

A guardianship is a wonderful vehicle to assist seniors and their families in certain difficult situations. Filing a petition for appointment of a guardian over a loved one is a difficult decision that involves discernment and guidance.

Five factors for consideration prior to filing a petition for guardianship include:

(1) Whether the senior has adequate estate planning documents in place such that a less restrictive alternative to guardianship exists?

(2) Whether the existing estate planning documents are subject to challenge for lack of capacity, undue influence, or lack of proper execution?

(3) Whether the senior has a valid power of attorney and if so, whether that POA is sufficient to address the present needs?

(4) Whether the senior experienced recent or worsening cognitive decline as a result of dementia or other illness?

(5) Whether a family member, neighbor, or other person is taking advantage of the senior?

Depending on your answer to the above questions, guardianship may be the right arena to address the needs of your family. Once you decide to proceed with a petition for guardianship, the next step is to determine which type of guardianship is appropriate for your situation. Check back for future posts to learn more about the types of guardianships and call us if we may help guide you regarding a possible guardianship action.

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