The aging process isn't always a kind one. Sometimes, in their elderly years, a person will develop a physical or mental condition that interferes with their capacity to make decisions for themselves. This can be a difficult thing for an elderly person's loved ones to watch and can leave them feeling very concerned. After all, such an incapacitation could seriously impact an elderly individual's ability to get the care they need. In such a situation, one thing that the loved ones of an elderly individual sometimes look into is starting guardianship proceedings.
A guardianship is when certain decision-making authority regarding a person, such as authority regarding decisions connected to general well-being, daily activities and health care, is given to another person. When a person has become incapacitated through things such as mental or physical disabilities or illnesses and this incapacitation has put the ability of the person to receive proper care and supervision at risk by making it so the individual is unable to make/communicate informed decisions, a court will sometimes put a guardianship in place.
A petition for a guardianship can be filed by parties that have interest in the welfare of an individual, such as an individual's spouse, kids or designated attorney in fact.
In guardianship proceedings, courts in Kalamazoo County look at whether clear and convincing evidence establishes that an individual suffers from incapacitation and that the effects of this incapacitation on a person's ability to receive proper care and supervision necessitates a guardianship. Generally, a court will only grant a guardianship if such evidence is present.
Experienced guardianship attorneys understand that going through guardianship proceedings regarding an elderly loved one can be an emotional, difficult and confusing time for a family. Such attorneys can help families who are in such proceedings work to reach an arrangement that will best ensure that their incapacitated loved one's needs are properly met.
Source: Kalamazoo County Government, "GUARDIANSHIP OF AN INDIVIDUAL WITH LEGAL INCAPACITY," Accessed Aug. 11, 2014