In the event an individual may become incapacitated or disabled to a certain extent, he or she will be in a complex position. Things they may have been able to do on their own now require assistance. This can be something as simple as scaling up a set of stairs, or something very specific like preparing an individual’s medicines or food. In these events, an individual will most likely need a guardian. Anyone can be appointed a guardian – or they can be nominated in your estate plan – but who is the right kind of person? Here are five things we recommend you consider when choosing a guardian.
Integrity and Honesty
Honesty is important in all aspects of life. To be blunt, why would you pick an individual with a history of deceit and suspicion that surrounds him or her? When choosing a guardian, always be sure to consider those who have strong moral values and ethical principles. After all, the guardian is watching over you. It’s much better to have someone who is honest with you and doing the right thing rather than someone who lies to you.
Being a Team Player
Your guardian isn’t just going to be responsible for looking over you. Your guardian will also need to be in communication with others who are important in your life. That means you need someone who is good when it comes to working with others. This could mean communicating with a family member or coordinating with someone such as a doctor or a financer. Regardless of who the guardian may be working with, the person needs to be a solid team player.
Health of the Candidate
Perhaps overlooked, you should consider the health of your candidates. Is the individual healthy enough to watch over another human being? You need to take into account their physical health as well as mental capacity to carry out tasks you may need help with. The worst thing that could happen would be for you to be in a vulnerable, precarious position and something strikes down your guardian. That’s why we always suggest to consider the health of yourself – which includes your guardian.
The Candidate’s Background
While it’s not mandatory, it’s probably wise to pick someone with a quality caregiving background to be your guardian. Anyone can learn to be a guardian, but the more experience, the better your choice will be. Did the individual attain experience in school or work to allow them to perform well as a guardian? More important – have they been one before? Integrity and being a team player can also be parts of an individual’s background. Maybe something also to consider – has the person had a history of substance abuse or been convicted of a crime? If so, that could be a red flag.
As mentioned, anyone can be a guardian. The question though will boil down to whether or not the individual is mature enough to be able to handle the responsibility of looking over another person’s life. Can the person handle all of the work that goes into being a guardian? How does the person respond under pressure? Can they manage all the communication involved as well as assure the safety of the individual and other important things? The reason why the question boils down to maturity is that this isn’t an easy job. Being a guardian can be physically, mentally and emotionally draining at times. Guardians are warriors in our world and the ones looking for guardianship beckon for one with great poise and maturity.
At The Probate ProSM, our team of attorneys, paralegals and support staff are dedicated to making sure everything in your life is taken care of. This includes providing advice like this, but we bend over backward to make sure our clients are satisfied with our work. If you or someone you know needs guardianship, conservatorship, estate planning or other legal services, call us today at 1-(877)-YOUR-FIRM.