How to Get Guardianship of a Parent Online Course

How to get guardianship of a parent and how to file for guardianship are questions that adult children ask. How can family caregivers provide support when an elderly parent with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or another health concern has difficulty managing day-to-day activities?

The ability to manage health and money may also be a worry for an aging adult who lives alone. If you live alone and have health concerns or memory loss, legal planning for your future is very important.

Watch this video introduction to the online guardianship course to gain a better understanding of the role and responsibility of being a legal guardian.

How to Understand the Role and Responsibility of Being a Guardian for an Elderly Parent

How can you know if filing for legal guardianship of a parent is the best solution? Are you up to the challenge?

Filing for guardianship doesn’t have to be intimidating. In many cases, becoming a guardian of a parent can protect mom or dad from unintentional harm, ensure safety, and provide quality of life.

Filing for guardianship of a parent without an attorney can save you thousands of dollars IF your family situation is right. An experienced elder law or probate litigator charges $250 to $300 an hour. An attorney retainer for guardianship can start at $5,000 for an uncontested guardianship case.

Contested hearings involving multiple attorneys can be costly, ranging into the tens of thousands of dollars. Even still, there are times when hiring an attorney to file for guardianship is the wisest action you can take.

A small investment in this online guardianship course may be all you need to file for guardianship, plus of course the necessary filing fees in the county where you live. Or you will learn that hiring an attorney may be the better option.

guardianship webinar

Legal Guardianship of the Elderly Online Course

This online course by Pamela D Wilson who served as a professional court-appointed guardian for more than ten years offers steps for obtaining legal guardianship of a parent. In many cases, family members can file for guardianship without an attorney.

Wilson also discusses family situations where hiring an elder law or probate litigator for a contested guardianship hearing may be a prudent step to filing for guardianship. Completing guardianship forms is also discussed.

To purchase this online course, How to Get Guardianship of a Parent, Click Here to Visit Pamela’s Membership and Store Page

Answers for frequently asked questions about filing for guardianship

  • How do I know if my elderly parent needs a guardian?
  • Can Adult Protective Services take over my parent’s life?
  • Can my parent appoint me as an agent under a medical power of attorney to make health care decisions instead of becoming a guardian?
  • I live alone. My doctor told me I have early Alzheimer’s and will need help making decisions in the future. What is the best way to appoint someone to care for me when I can’t care for myself?
  • How do I apply for guardianship of a parent?
  • How do guardianship hearings work?

Does My Parent Need a Guardian?

how to get guardianship of a parentParents and older adults who show signs of difficulty managing daily activities may be unaware of memory problems. Wilson’s podcast called the Signs of Dementia Checklist shares indications that a parent may be experiencing memory loss? Getting guardianship of a parent with dementia is an important family discussion.

If you are an older adult, forgetfulness may be making you vulnerable to financial exploitation or self-care neglect? Are bills going unpaid, have you lost weight, are friends making comments about your memory?

When denials exist bout memory loss, it’s time to seek a medical evaluation to determine if filing for guardianship should be the next step to protecting a parent. Guardianship allows for decision-making about health care, medical treatments, living arrangements, and many other critical day-to-day decisions to ensure the safety and well-being of a parent.

Why Memory Loss Is Not Easily Diagnosed

how to get legal guardianship of a parentNearly 50% of older adults over age 85 are unaware that they experience memory gaps. Difficulty managing money, completing mathematical computations, and organizational skills are often the first signs of memory loss.

Aging adults with a family history of memory loss may be more aware and fearful of the possibility of an eventual diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia. A lack of regular medical care—that can identify early health concerns—contributes to lower rates of memory loss diagnosis.

Can Adult Protective Services Take Over My Parent’s Life?

guardianship of parentAdult Protective Services (APS) is a county office in all states responsible for investigating the living situations of older adults who cannot meet their own needs and who are victims of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. In some situations, family members take advantage of or neglect elderly parents. Reports to adult protective services can be made by any person concerned about an aging adult’s welfare.

Mandatory reporting laws exist in many states. However, a hesitation in reporting still exists among physicians who may notice that their patients are experiencing progressive memory loss and may be neglecting their care. Family members, who may have heard horror stories about the involvement of government agencies may be hesitant to communicate with adult protective service workers.

In most cases, adult protective services can be helpful and support guardianship by family members. Their intention is not to take over a parent’s life but they will become involved due to family or self-neglect. There are instances where adult protective services will petition for guardianship to appoint a non-family guardian.

The recommendation is that all family members participate with adult protective services staff. Family members who are unfamiliar with services and resources can benefit from the suggestions from APS workers for local providers.

Adult protective services can also connect family members with the county probate office who may have a help desk. Filing for guardianship of a parent is possible when you know the steps to take.

Can My Parent Appoint Me as an Agent Under a Medical Power of Attorney to Make Decisions Instead of Becoming a Guardian?

legal guardian for parentElderly parents who have the foresight to create estate plans that include a durable medical and financial power of attorney, a living will, and a will or a trust fare the best when a health diagnosis like dementia arises. Creating these documents using an elder law, probate, or estate planning attorney offers the best opportunity to make a wise decision about who to appoint as an agent, personal representative, or trustee.

Experienced attorneys often include a clause a power of attorney documents about incapacity, the appointment of successor agents, and naming a guardian or conservator.  When documents include these provisions, an adult child or agent can act as an agent under a durable medical power of attorney without the need of filing for guardianship.

When Is It Too Late to Create Medical Power of Attorney Documents?

The decision to appoint an agent under a durable medical power of attorney instead of a guardian is not an option when dementia or Alzheimer’s disease has progressed to where a parent lacks an understanding—called capacity—to understand the purpose and provisions in the document.  When an individual waits too long to execute estate planning documents, family members interested in a parent’s well-being must work through the court system to appoint a guardian or a conservator.

Filing for guardianship of a parent includes gaining an understanding of legal incapacity and the information to include in a guardianship petition. It is also important for the prospective guardian to understand the duties and responsibilities of being a legal guardian.

I Live Alone. What is the Best Way for Me To Appoint Someone to Care for Me When I Cannot Care for Myself?

elderly womanThe number of solo Baby Boomers or solo agers is increasing. Divorcees and never marrieds may rely on adult children and friends for care. If you are an adult diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or another chronic disease that has the potential to affect your memory, making an advanced care plan is essential.

Creating an estate plan and a care plan while you remain able to manage your affairs offers the best opportunity to appoint an agent under a durable medical power of attorney to manage and oversee your medical care. If necessary, a provision in the document can give the agent you appoint priority for a guardianship appointment.

If you do not have a family member or friend willing to become your agent, professional fiduciaries exist who accept these types of appointments. In many cases where family disagreements exist, elderly parents and others prefer to designate a professional fiduciary to act in their best interest.

Take the Next Step to Learn How to File For Guardianship of a Parent

How to Get Guardianship of a Parent, the online course offered by Pamela D Wilson, a caregiving expert, and certified guardian, educates family caregivers about the steps to get guardianship of a parent. Pamela D Wilson does not offer legal advice. She shares her experiences as a court-appointed guardian of the elderly and disabled and working with families of guardianship.

What you’ll learn:

  • Why having guardianship versus durable medical power of attorney can be important when working with a healthcare system that may not understand the role of a legal agent or guardian.
  • Why legal incapacity is required for guardianship, what legal incapacity means, and the steps to take to confirm a parent is incapacitated and needs a guardian.
  • The steps to take if you are contacted by Adult Protective Services about self-neglect or other safety concerns about an aging parent with memory loss.
  • The difference between legal incapacity and medical incapacity. Why working with the healthcare system can be complicated when you have legal responsibility.
  • How to petition for guardianship, including guardianship forms to file, who you must inform, and the information needed to petition for guardianship.
  • The responsibilities of a legal guardian for the elderly to know if being a guardian is a role you want to accept.

After completing this online course, participants will understand whether filing without an attorney is possible. You will also understand the steps to confirm a parent needs a guardian, learn how to submit a guardianship petition and the associated guardianship forms to the court, and be prepared to advocate with a healthcare system that does not always place the care of the elderly at a high priority.

Make the care of an elderly parent or loved one a priority. Learn more about the course by clicking on the below link.


Click HERE to Purchase Pamela’s Online Course How to Get Guardianship of a Parent 

Pamela D. Wilson, MS, BS/BA, CG, CSA is a national caregiving expert, educator, advocate, and speaker. More than 20 years of experience as a court-appointed guardian, power of attorney, and care manager serve as Wilson’s platform to increase awareness of caregiving as an essential role in life. She is a content developer, author of all articles on this website, and videos on her YouTube Channel. Wilson hosts and produces The Caring Generation® podcast and is the author of the book The Caregiving Trap. You can reach Pamela by completing the Contact Me Form on this website.

© 2021,2022 Pamela D. Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

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