When To Get Guardianship

Four Possible Scenarios For When Should Someone Intervene and Obtain A Guardianship

Many people come into a lawyer’s office wanting advice on how they can deal with a family member’s out of control behavior that is causing them great concern. The question really is: where is the line drawn between being an eccentric person to actually needing intervention?

Person Is In Physical Danger

The time to step in is when the person is in actual physical danger. Thus, if his/her behavior puts them at risk of causing them actual harm, this is when intervention is needed.

For instance:

A woman lives by herself. She doesn’t come out, doesn’t eat right and doesn’t take the medication she’s prescribed. Her house is filthy and cluttered. This type of behavior can lead to her death and needs an intervention.

A man wanders out of his home/place of residence in the middle of the night in 20 degree temperatures. He has no idea who he is and he can’t remember where he lives. This type of behavior can lead to his death and needs some intervention.

Person Has Dementia

Anytime a person has a mental-health issue (typically dementia) that has led them to commit dangerous behavior, it’s time to get a guardianship in place.

For instance:

It’s not unheard of for a person who suffers from dementia to lash out violently due to the delusion and paranoia. In fact, he/she may attack their caregiver or spouse.

Person Might Be A Scam Victim

The time to step in and take control is when the person has shown a serious lack of judgment where money is involved and is heading to become broke. This is a person who is oftentimes a victim of financial abuse of some sort.

Maybe a family member or somebody else who’s been granted access to the bank account stole money from it. It may have been an actual thief taking their money from them.

Person Spends More Money Than Is Absolutely Necessary

Should someone who is addicted to the home shopping network be intervened? Look at their habits. If they spend more than they make in a month and is wiping out all their life savings, then yes… it may be a good time to do an intervention.

However, if the person is spending only the amount they can afford or maybe even a little extra, then that person is doing what they’d like with the money. Competent people have every right to spend their money how they see fit.

Look for behavior that’s not characteristic of the person. For instance, mom’s never given out very lavish gifts and, all of a sudden, she’s been doing it left and right. Say one of her kids is driving a brand new car and says it’s from mom. Does she even remember buying it for him? Does she seem confused by it?

The moment you see behavior that puts a person at risk is the moment you need to get involved. You don’t want to see someone running through their money and don’t have anything else to live on. The above scenarios are prime examples of when you should get a guardianship.

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