Some families think they have the best intentions in mind and done all the right things to protect their elderly loved ones by naming a guardian for that person. But the move may have been premature in the eyes of that elderly loved one.
And, in other cases, when guardianship was necessary, the person selected may not have the best qualities to be one or flat out abuses his or her power, making choices not in the best interest of the elderly person. Such narratives open the door for potential guardianship litigation.
No need, objecting to the choice
When it comes to guardianship litigation, these scenarios often prove complicated and contentious. These situations often pit family members against family members, where compassion for the elderly person and advocacy to protect them collide.
Here are some of the reasons why guardianship litigation occurs:
- Elderly loved one does not need a guardian: The person considered vulnerable and fragile may think that the decision to name a guardian was premature. Their mental and physical faculties remain intact, and they want to continue to take care of themselves. The need for a guardian may not exist.
- Objecting to the choice of guardian: Such situations may lead to explosive disputes. Someone may contend that the proposed guardian is inappropriate, has less-than-redeeming qualities and is not a good fit. Among the parties who may object include family members, friends and neighbors.
- Abuse of power: Once in the guardian role, this person ensures the elderly person has a safe place to live, how to maintain his or her health and preside over finances. If something seems amiss, friends and relatives may step in regarding the choices that person has made.
- When a guardian seeks court permission: The guardian may seek certain permissions for the sale of a home, placing the elderly person in a long-term care facility as well as changing a will. If someone has strong objections to such actions, they may pursue legal action.
The guardian has many responsibilities, and the right person needs to be in this role. When disagreements as well as strong objections arise, guardianship litigation may be the only route to pursue.