When adult children in Georgia join forces to help an aging parent, differences of opinion can get in the way of quality care. Sibling rivalry often works its way into elder care issues, especially regarding whether a legal guardian might be needed in a particular situation. Three siblings in another state are currently involved in a legal battle over such issues.

Two sisters and one brother disagree about their mother’s mental state. The brother has filed a petition asking the court to appoint him as a legal guardian to care for his mother’s affairs. He says she is suffering from dementia and is no longer capable of acting on her own behalf.

His sisters, however, not only disagree with his assessment, but they believe their brother is up to no good and is merely trying to take advantage of the court to gain control of his mother’s assets. The women say there is absolutely nothing wrong with their mother’s mental capacity and that she is perfectly capable of looking after her own financial affairs. In such situations, a licensed medical doctor can testify that a patient is mentally competent. If a person is of sound mind, he or she can execute an estate plan that includes designation of powers of attorney. If the woman in this case were to do so, she could name her daughters as decision-makers if she ever does become incapacitated.

A person could also sign documents, stating that he or she does not want a specific person to ever be appointed as his or her legal guardian. Such cases are often complex and may take weeks, even months to resolve in court. An experienced Georgia elder law attorney is a great asset to have on hand. For instance, siblings opposing another party who has requested guardianship may seek legal guidance and support to determine a best course of action to prove that the elder in question is indeed competent, and also to initiate the process of developing a solid estate plan to have a readied system in place should incapacitation ever occur.