How do I determine the right guardian for my elder family member?

In these more contemporary times, many adult citizens of Vancouver, British Columbia, plan for the possibility of incapacity by appointing someone to represent them ahead of time. Assuming that your elder loved one has not taken this step, you are right to ask questions about guardianship in Canada. In legal terms, a guardianship is known as a committeeship, but the meaning is the same. This person will be responsible for making financial and property decisions if the ward cannot do so on his or her own.

Appointing someone to represent your loved one's interests is a very important decision. In addition to compatibility of personalities, there are many things for you to consider. Your first consideration is whether or not you want to take on the guardianship role yourself. While there are benefits to this decision, you should be certain you are capable of taking on the role. There is no shame in deciding you are not capable for any reason as the best interests of your elderly family member is what matters most.

Here are a few key factors to consider in searching for the right person to represent your loved one.

-- Look for someone with an honest, crime-free background

-- Look for someone who is skilled at responsibly managing his or her own affairs

-- Look for someone who is in good health

-- Look for someone who does not have a history of alcohol or drug abuse

-- Look for someone who you and the entire family is comfortable interacting with

It can be daunting to think about appointing someone who will have control of your loved one's assets. Rely on your good judgment and know that you can also consult with a Vancouver-based lawyer about your elder's best interests.

Source: FindLaw, "Ten Things to Think About: Choosing a Guardian," accessed Feb. 26, 2016

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