It’s not something you may really think about, nor is it a conversation that you ever really want to have. When most people think about the concept of legal guardianship, they think of a guardian over an able-bodied child under the age of 18 who is legally required to have a guardian. The reality is, however, that issues of legal guardianship come up in a variety of extraordinary circumstances and if you find yourself having to assume the role of guardian for a loved one, it’s critical that you have accurate information and a solid understanding of the process. Below are a few scenarios in which you may need to apply for legal guardianship of a loved one.
A Disabled Child that Has Reached Adult Status
Although you may have been taking care of your disabled child your entire life, once they turn 18, they are still adults in the eyes of the law. If you are not legally declared their guardian, it may be hard to make decisions regarding medical care and finances on their behalf. This is also true for adults that become mentally disabled after sustaining brain trauma.
An Elderly Loved One Who Can No Longer Make their Own Decisions
Age very often erodes one’s ability to make healthy decisions for themselves. If your parent or grandparent no longer has the psychological or physical resources to act on their own behalf, it might be time to step in and start taking care of them.
A Loved Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or Dementia
Every day families are rocked by diagnoses of Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s important that your loved one has the support and care they need as they slip into this illness. Applying for guardianship before they’re in the late stages of the disease improves your chances of having that support system when the time comes.
When it comes time to assume guardianship of a physically or mentally disabled loved one, the transition may be more involved than you first realized. Call an experienced attorney to help you through it.
Call the experienced guardianship and estate lawyers at Posternock Apell, PC today for a free phone consultation. You can reach us by phone, or you can simply fill-out our online contact form to schedule a meeting in our Maple Shade or Moorestown office. We serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Pemberton and Browns Mills.