Limitations of a Guardianship

Some may think of a guardian appointed over an elderly adult as someone who can wholly take over their lives. However, that is not so. While guardians are appointed with certain responsibilities over their ward, they are also faced with a number of limitations as well.

A guardian does not need to spend 24 hours a day with their ward. They don’t completely oversee their lives, but rather make sure their living and medical needs are met. However, while this can mean making and taking them to doctor’s appointments or providing housing, there are a number of limitations that go alongside it. These limitations include:

  • A guardian cannot force their ward to take medication or undergo medical procedures if they refuse
  • They cannot move in with the ward or move their place of living if the ward does not consent
  • They cannot commit a ward to a mental hospital.
  • They cannot stop a ward from living their life, this includes poor decisions and illegal acts. However, the guardian will not be held responsible either.

Essentially, it is better to think as a guardianship as a more cooperative arrangement. The guardian wants to make sure their elder ward is taken care of, but they also want to keep a balance of letting them live their own lives. Unfortunately, as those who are in true need of a guardian are already mentally or physically compromised, this sees them prone to being taken advantage of. This is why it is crucial that family know the limitations of a guardian in order to recognize potential elder abuse.

If you believe the guardian of your elderly loved one is not acting in their best interests, contact us today. Ford and Bergner LLP can help make sure your elderly loved one is taken care of but not taken advantage of.