Changing roles - Do you need to become the guardian for your parents?

Fiona and Mhorag are best friends. They meet for a coffee one Saturday afternoon and the conversation turns to their families. The children are doing well, getting good grades at school and their jobs are keeping them both busy too.

Fiona confides in Mhorag that her mum has been struggling recently and seems to be confused a lot of the time. Her Doctor has said that her mum is no longer able to manage and make decisions for herself and may need Fiona's help. Fiona doesn't know what to do.

Mhorag was in a similar situation with her dad a few years ago. She tells Fiona that she should see a Solicitor about being appointed as her mum's guardian. This would allow her to help her mum with decisions about her welfare, such as her mum's medical treatment, living arrangements, cooking, washing and making sure she is safe whether she lives at home or perhaps in a care home in the future.

Fiona could also help to manage her mum's finances, such as her bank accounts and savings in order to pay for things that she needs, and manage her property if she perhaps owns a house.

Mhorag is her dad's guardian and explains that the process was not as scary as she had first thought. She saw a Solicitor specialising in guardianships who explained the process.

Legal Aid funding was also available, so she did not have to pay the solicitor's fees to be appointed as her dad's guardian.

The Solicitor ordered a medical report from her dad's Doctor and one from a Psychiatrist. They both met with her dad and were very nice to him.

Another lady came to see Mhorag to speak about what she would have to do as her dad's guardian. This was the Mental Health Officer. Her role was to make sure that Mhorag's appointment as guardian was suitable and in her dad's best interests.

The Solicitor sent all of these reports to the Court with an application to appoint her as guardian. A hearing was held about 5 weeks later and the Sheriff agreed that she should be her dad's guardian.

The whole process took around 12 weeks and Mhorag can now help her dad to make important decisions and/or can make the decision for him if he cannot do so himself.

Fiona left the coffee shop feeling like she had a way to help her mum and went straight to a Solicitors to start the process.

Your turn

  1. Do you have a question about becoming a guardian?
  2. What challenges have you had with becoming a guardian for your parents?
Join the conversation in the comments section below.
Posted by Heather Davidson at 10/03/2015 08:21:48
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