When Georgia parents take on the solemn task of choosing adults to step in and become legally responsible for their children should they themselves die or become incapacitated, they often choose close family members to fulfill the role. However, choosing a legal guardian is a serious matter that parents should only make after considering various factors, including whom they believe would act in their children's best interests at all times. While it's easy and perhaps natural to want to choose relatives, the truth is, it might not always be the best decision.
Many adult children in Georgia are helping to care for aging parents with health care concerns. In some situations, parents suffer from mental illness; in particular, dementia or Alzheimer-related symptoms. Beyond the sorrow of having to witness a parent's cognitive and mental decline, it can be stressful trying to keep on top of various estate-related issues that may arise.
Knowing that a mother or father is getting on in years but not being able to visit him or her everyday can cause an adult child to worry. It's understandable that aging parents would like to maintain as much independence as possible. Their children typically want the same for them but also want to make sure that living independently is what's best for their parents. If mental illness or another serious health problem is suspected, it may be time to access support resources in Georgia.
Any number of situations may arise in life that render a person incapable of making his or her own decisions about financial concerns and other important matters. From terminal illness to sudden incapacitation resulting from injuries in a motor vehicle collision or other type of accident, a court appointed guardian may be needed when an individual can no longer act on his or her own behalf. Many times, an adult child or other family member petitions a Georgia probate court to name a conservator or guardian.
The New York Times recently ran an in-depth story about one victim of financial exploitation by a companion-caregiver who was acting as guardian to an elderly gentleman. Initially, the woman contacted her companion's family saying that she was no longer able to care for the gentleman, who had dementia and other health issues.
The good news is there's no obvious age at which a normally healthy person loses cognitive ability. People who are experiencing normal cognitive aging can often manage their financial affairs competently well into their 70s and 80s.
Sometimes, minor children in Georgia cannot rely on their parents to provide appropriate levels of supervision and care. In such cases, the court system may approve guardians or conservators to protect the interests of these kids.
As a parent of a child with special needs it is difficult to know how much independence to give. As they approach adulthood teens push to make their own decisions. Although you might want to give them their space, a guiding hand can be necessary especially when it comes to keeping them healthy.
Georgia residents might wonder what they need to do to ensure that their loved ones can make decisions on their behalf in case they are incapacitated. In many cases, appointing a family member as agent under a power of attorney can accomplish this goal.
In a series of posts, we've been exploring how those faced with the difficult reality of having loved ones who are no longer able to care for themselves either physically or financially will often find themselves exploring whether it's perhaps time to secure a guardianship and/or a conservatorship.