Guardianship cases for loved ones suffering from dementia can be complicated and expensive, especially without the help or advice of an experienced Ohio elder law attorney. Each guardianship case must go through the court system, but proper planning can help the process go smoothly.
How to Establish Guardianship for a Senior with Dementia
Courts can establish the guardianship of seniors with dementia following a long court process. The process includes petition filings, court fees and hearings, background checks, and interviews with the proposed guardian. When establishing guardianship, courts generally stick to a standard of what is in the best interest of the senior, since that is the most important aspect of the guardianship.
The Appointment of Guardians
One of the reasons proper planning is important is because the senior can provide their own choice of legal guardian. This is often done in a legal document where the senior can choose a guardian for their financial concerns and a guardian for their health care decisions – often, this is the same person for both, but there are occasions when separate people are named. In addition, backup guardians may also be named in case there is an issue with the first choice. While the court ultimately appoints guardians they deem to be in the best interest of the senior, providing your wish for a guardian can help convince the court to appoint that person.
As noted above, a senior can name their own guardians in their elder care plans. Ideally, this will happen before dementia has set in. However, if the senior has already been diagnosed with dementia, it’s imperative to seek the advice of an experienced elder law attorney as soon as possible. The attorney can determine if the senior is competent to make planning choices, even if the competency comes and goes from time to time. If not, the choice of who will serve as the guardian will be entirely up to the judge presiding over the case.
If you have any further questions about guardianships for seniors suffering from dementia, would like to set up a plan for a loved one who is in the early stages of dementia, or if you’re currently involved in a guardianship proceeding and would like advice to get the best possible outcome for your loved one with dementia, please set up an appointment at our Ohio elder law office by calling 877-653-3450.