Many legal avenues to protecting your family have relatively defined guidelines. For instance, people are eligible for Medicare when they turn 65 or social security as early as 62. Guardianships, however, have no triggering age. Instead, it’s up to loved ones to understand the role guardianships play and to understand when it’s time for a loved one to have a guardianship in place to help them with day-to-day living.
Guardianships are a legal tool that puts a “guardian” in place who will have legal authority over the care and property of someone in need. These are secure legal tools for multiple situations to care for loved ones. We want to make sure your family knows about the many benefits of guardianship so everyone is in good hands when the time is right.
As noted above, there is no definitive qualification for guardianship. Essentially, anyone who is in need of legal oversight, most specifically for medical care and housing, qualifies. A common misconception is that only the elderly are in need of guardianship. A minor or a young adult could have a guardian assigned at various points of aging.
Your family could go visit an aging loved one and realize their home and health have taken a turn for the worse. Upon returning home, it may be sensible to work quickly with an attorney to get guardianship in place to right the ship in their life. The same applies to a scenario where a child’s parents are unable to be there in times of need and would benefit from a guardian to oversee their day-to-day care.
What is a “special” guardianship?
There are two main types of guardianship in Oklahoma: “special guardianship” and “general guardianship.” General guardianships are mostly straightforward as they apply the terms of guardianship over a long, sometimes permanent period of time. Special guardianships, however, are for emergency situations.
Emergencies must include immediate or imminent harm to the individual. The harm could include physical or mental deterioration or the inability to care for themselves or their home. For instance, if a loved one appears to be suffering from severe hallucinations and these hallucinations are impairing their ability to take care of their health, personal finances, and home, a guardian should be put in place quickly. These hallucinations could be the side effect of a medication, infection, or other circumstances which will be tended to through the assignment of special guardianship.
It’s also important to look out for signs of mental illness in our loved ones. If someone ever explicitly talks about harming themselves, special guardianship may be appropriate to ensure our loved ones get the necessary care.
If any form of physical or mental healthcare is needed but the person refuses to seek treatment, special guardianship can help force the necessary care and save lives. However, if the danger is not imminent or proper treatment is being sought then the long-term approach of general guardianship may be more appropriate.Whatever circumstances brought you to this blog, the team at Pence Law Firm wants to be a part of the solution for your loved ones. If you need help putting together guardianship for someone you care about, we have experience with both special and general guardianship in Oklahoma. Contact our team and get your loved ones the care they need today.