When your parents age, you may notice that they become more forgetful, or that they become increasingly unstable on their feet, among other changes. Watching your parent grow older is not easy, but if you believe your parent might become a danger to himself or herself in some way, it may be time to take action.

Per Forbes, a parent who is no longer able to manage his or her own affairs may require guardianship. What exactly is a guardianship, and how might you know when your mother or father needs one?

Defining “guardianship”

A guardianship is a legal arrangement that gives you or another specified guardian the legal right to make decisions on someone else’s behalf. If your parent gave you power of attorney before becoming incapacitated, you may be able to manage some of his or her affairs. There are other situations that may require more than a power of attorney, and this is where guardianships become useful.

Assessing the need for a guardianship

Certain situations may give you cause to consider a guardianship. If a situation warrants a power of attorney but your parent is not on board with it, you may need to move forward with guardianship.

If you believe your mom or dad presents a danger to himself or herself and needs access to ‘round-the-clock care, but that parent refuses to move into a nursing home, you may navigate the situation by establishing a guardianship. You may also need a guardianship in certain medical situations, or if your parent is unable to manage certain real estate dealings, among other common circumstances.

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