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Obtaining a guardianship for your aging parent

With warm weather, recreational opportunities and senior-living facilities, Scottsdale is the perfect place for retirees. If your parent moved to Arizona later in life, you may never have called the Grand Canyon State home. Still, you may need to take advantage of Arizona laws to care for your elderly parent through the final stages of his or her life. 

Taking care of an aging parent can be tremendously difficult. If you have noticed your father or mother can no longer handle everyday tasks, you may worry about his or her overall wellbeing. With a lawful guardianship, you can make personal or financial decisions on behalf of your aging parent. If you want to obtain a guardianship for your parent, you should know a few things about Arizona guardianship law. 

Understanding terminology 

In any guardianship relationship, there are two key parties. With an aging parent, the ward is the incapacitated adult who cannot make personal or financial decisions without assistance. The guardian, by contrast, is a responsible individual or group of individuals who can make decisions on the ward’s behalf. 

To petition the court for a guardianship, you must show your adult parent lacks the capacity to make important decisions. When you become a guardian, you decide what is best for your father or mother. You may make medical, housing, personal care and other decisions for your parent. 

Qualifying as a guardian 

Arizona law limits the class of individuals who may serve as a guardian for an incapacitated adult. If you want to obtain a guardianship order for your elderly parent, you must meet each of the following criteria: 

  •         Be at least 18 years old
  •         Have no felony criminal convictions 

The state also allows certain professionals to qualify as legal guardians. Generally, these individuals work in institutions that regularly provide care for incapacitated adults. Because you are an out-of-state adult child of an aging parent, you probably are not a guardian in this context. You should, however, know that if your parent has difficulty making decisions, a public or private agency may eventually pursue guardianship. 

Watching parents lose the ability to care for themselves can be heartbreaking. To be certain your aging father or mother receives the best possible care, you may need to obtain a guardianship order. By understanding the legal requirements of guardianship, you can help your parent navigate the final years of life.

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ANDERSEN PLLC
17015 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 225
Scottsdale, AZ 85255

Phone: 480-900-3539
Fax: 480-265-9101
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