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How the courts can help you protect your parents from themselves

On Behalf of | Jul 12, 2021 | Estate Planning |

It can be hard to watch your parents age. Although most people want to do so gracefully and maintain their independence, many older adults eventually need support in their daily lives. They may forget things or struggle to handle even simple tasks, like preparing their own meals.

When your parents reach the age where they need help more often than not, they may still not want to admit that need to you or to anyone else. Embarrassment or concern about the possible loss of independence often motivates older adults to try to manage their lives and households when they truly cannot do so safely.

If you have noticed signs that your parents cannot manage their household matters on their own anymore, you may need to ask the Florida courts for the authority to help protect them.

Guardianship protects those who cannot manage their own affairs

Children are incapable of managing their own needs, so they must have a guardian who provides for them and oversees their daily life. Those with special needs may also rely on a guardian for their daily needs or for support in a partially independent living arrangement.

Just as children need guardians, so do older adults with certain physical or mental conditions. Older adults with Alzheimer’s disease or other medical conditions may require the oversight and support of a guardian. They may reach a point where they can’t manage their own household, pay their own bills or make their own medical decisions.

Florida can empower concerned adults with the authority to make certain decisions on behalf of someone who lacks the testamentary capacity to manage their affairs.

What must you show to obtain a guardianship?

To convince the courts to name a guardian for your parents, you will need to show that your parents have issues that prevent them from managing their own affairs.

Documentation about missed appointments and unpaid bills could help, as could medical records. Both the diagnosis of an older adult with certain conditions and records from their physician recording the decline in their cognitive function could help support your assertion that your parents now need the oversight and protection of a guardian.

Understanding that it can be in the best interest of your parents to step up could help motivate you to take on guardianship responsibility so that your parents can stay safer as they age.