When seniors become unable to make their own decisions about their health, finances and other important choices, it may become necessary for the family to appoint an elder guardian. According to the United States Department of Justice, the terms for this individual may vary, as do the laws set by each individual state.
Families who require guardianship for an elder loved one may want to consider several different factors when choosing an appointed individual to ensure the senior in need receives the most comprehensive care and protection possible.
Anyone considered for an elder guardianship position must have certain personality traits that suit this position. Emotional maturity is key and allows this individual to make a variety of difficult decisions, including:
- The planning of end-of-life care
- Financial decisions
- The transfer or sale of property
The appointed individual may also require time management skills as a part of their mature attitude, as this responsibility is not one he or she can take lightly.
Because an incapacitated person requires medical care and other needs, an appointed guardian must be an honest and trustworthy person. Not only will this individual handle financial accounts but possibly property, trusts and valuable personal items as well.
Consider the future
Those seeking to appoint a legal guardian for an adult who requires care and assistance may want to consider not only the immediate future but also whether he or she may require full-time care in the months or years to come. This situation sometimes requires that more than one guardian becomes involved, especially if one guardian cannot cover all the decisions required.
Some guardianships may end if an adult becomes capable of caring for themselves again. However, most terminate at the end of the protected person’s life.