When a loved one becomes mentally or physically incapacitated and unfit to care for themselves on their own it is a devastating issue that their families have to go through. When this happens, family members and loved ones can legally request to be named as “guardians” of the individual. This is a large responsibility and one that helps ensure there is a competent adult making decisions in the best interest of the individual.
The Responsibilities of the Guardian
Guardianship is designed to be a legal relationship between one competent adult and an individual who is no longer able to care for their own affairs. In this situation, the individual who is needing care is legally known as the “ward.” Once the agreement has been finalized, the guardian is able to make any legal, financial and healthcare decisions for “the ward.”
How Are Guardians Appointed?
With the help of an attorney, you can file a petition for a hearing in probate court in the county that the senior currently resides. The senior typically has legal representation at the hearing as well. The court then attempts to determine if the “ward” is incapacitated and to what extent they are capacitated and how much assistance they really need.
The court then determines whether or not the individual looking to be the responsible guardian is fit for that role.
How Do Long-Term Care Facilities Handle Guardianship Orders?
Guardianship orders are not new. However, there are new rules to govern the way that long-term care facilities handle guardianship orders, as a way to help protect their senior residents and their needs. These policies that are ensuring that both nursing homes and assisted living facilities have legal proof of who the legal resident’s guardian is.
As of September 2015, all nursing homes and assisted living facilities in the state of Texas were required to request a copy of any court order that appoints guardianship of a resident or resident’s estate. It is the responsibility of the residents nearest relative or the individual responsible for the resident’s support.
The guardians will not only be responsible for deciding what long-term facility the senior will be living in, but they will also monitor their experience at the residence and handling finances and monitoring different services they receive while under care.
The Guardian has a great deal of responsibility when it comes to their loved one’s experience in a long-term care facility. When the nursing home or assisted living facility is fully-informed of who the legal guardian is, they know who they must communicate with and who is responsible for major decisions while the senior is under their care. If you have any questions regarding the guardianship process or submitting guardianship orders to long-term care facilities, contact the experts at Hegwood Law Firm at (281) 885-8826.