Guardianship is often a very difficult yet necessary conversation that each family should have. This topic is common among couples who are about to file for a divorce. They need to establish their guardianship rights and responsibilities.
Families with a senior member also deal with this matter. The question of who’s going to look after the elder member of the family may be a somewhat sensitive topic, but given the circumstance that will face every family in the future, it’s an essential talk to have.
It’s also not a family matter you need to face alone. For example, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, family law attorneys can help you through the process of knowing the rights and duties afforded to your grandparents, designate their legal guardians, or otherwise come up with the conditions required in order to initiate a guardianship.
But when should you start thinking about this possibility? If you and your family are facing any of these situations, perhaps it’s time to consider it as an option:
If your grandparents are living alone
While the best option would be to have your grandparents or older relatives live with you, that’s not the case for most of them. This isn’t out of spite or neglect; some elders would genuinely just appreciate being left alone, enjoying their time without the regular presence of their relatives.
But even if you do take regular trips to make sure your grandparents are doing fine, it’s best to appoint a guardian, ideally a family member or a friend who can carry out the senior’s legal duties and obligations in case they are unable to. This is especially true if they’re living by themselves, as is it can be difficult to acclimatize to the tedium that usual legwork requires for paperwork.
If your elders have reached retirement age
One of the biggest milestones anyone can cross in their lives is finally reaching the age of retirement. After a long period of working, it’s time to sit back, reap the rewards of their hard work, and live their lives peacefully or the way they wanted to. Guardianship allows for this type of lifestyle by appointing someone capable to take care of general affairs for the elderly person.
If a family member suffers from a mental disorder
One of the most painful yet necessary occasions where a guardian is required is if an elderly suffer from a condition that impairs or obstructs their judgment or render them incapable of doing things themselves. Guardianship is a way to ensure that they and their estate is well taken care of, and can be reliably contacted in case of emergencies.
Admittedly, this is one of the most sensitive times to talk about guardianship, but conditions aren’t always ideal for the elderly in question. In medical matters, it can be a serious source of headache and financial trouble if someone capable isn’t appointed to take care of those things. Guardianship allows someone to act on the senior’s behalf and in their best interest, helping them lead a normal life despite their illness.
It’s not easy and it’s not pleasant, but one of the key realizations that everyone has to face is that at some point, we will all grow old. Not making arrangements on who will take care of our loved ones is a big mistake.