Is it always necessary to appoint a guardian for an elderly widowed parent who has lost his/her faculties, but who made a will several years ago leaving his/her estate to her children in equal shares ?
By: דיאנה שאלתיאל•Published on: 07 June, 2022
Not necessarily. The answer depends on the particular circumstances. For example, if there is a risk that the elderly parent could be financially exploited by someone – e.g. a relative, neighbour, caregiver , or even a stranger –then it would be advisable to appoint a guardian who would act on her behalf. Such a risk is particularly high where the elderly relative lives alone and is dependent on someone who wishes to exploit this dependency , or is in an old people’s home, where he/she may develop a particular attachment to a member of staff. In cases like these appointing one or both of his/her adult children as guardian/s would protect his/her interests and well as the beneficiaries’ inheritance rights under the will as any gift or will he/ she made after the appointment of a guardian would be invalid.
If, however, there is no risk of this and arrangements already exist at her bank for her affairs to be managed adequately by way of a power of attorney or by adding a family member as a joint holder of her account, then there is no need for guardianship, which would place an unnecessary burden on the guardian who is obliged by law to prepare regular reports and accounts to court.