What You Need to Know About Guardianship for Older Adults

The recently released Netflix movie “I Care A Lot” has sparked some real curiosity about what  guardianship is. In the movie, the lead character Marla Grayson manages to bilk her older adult clients out of money and assets once she is appointed as their guardian. If you care for an older adult or if you are an older adult making future plans in case your health falters, you naturally may want to know about guardianship and what it entails. Here are a few facts.

A guardian is someone who cares for a person because they can no longer care for themselves.

For instance, if a person has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, they may no longer be able to make sound decisions and handle tasks such as paying bills or taking care of their health properly. A guardian will help to care for the person and do many other tasks in that person’s best interests. 

A guardian is different from a power of attorney.

Power of attorney is an active choice a person makes regarding who can handle their decisions if they no longer can do so. Guardianship is appointed by a court if someone cannot name a power of attorney or becomes suddenly incapacitated. A spouse, family member, friend, or agency can be named guardian. In some areas of the U.S., the term conservatorship may be used more often than guardianship.

There are alternatives to guardianship.

In addition to power of attorney, options such as living trust, representative payees, and standby guardianship are other ways to help make decisions for someone else without becoming a guardian.

Obtaining guardianship is a complex legal process.

It requires obtaining a letter from a physician that says the person in question is incapacitated and unable to make their own decisions. There are other steps involved in obtaining guardianship that will vary from state to state. The process can be expensive. Working with an elder law attorney is usually recommended to become a guardian.

At Secure Aging, we help manage finances and caregiving for our clients, but we do not become their guardians. 

Call Secure Aging to Find Out How We Can Help Seniors With Financial Management

At Secure Aging in Bradenton, we transform the weight of the world into a sigh of relief for our senior clients and their concerned family members. The mission of Secure Aging is to protect and preserve our client’s independence and dignity through careful and thoughtful financial and care management. As our clients age, it is their desire to remain independent and age with dignity. Our services protect our clients from talented con artists looking to exploit and deplete the financial resources of our vulnerable seniors. Secure Aging helps families in Manatee County and Sarasota County and in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Call us at 941-761-9338, or visit us online at www.secureaging.com.

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