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How to talk to your parents about establishing guardianship

On Behalf of | Mar 26, 2024 | Guardianship

Discussing future planning with your parents, including establishing guardianship, can be a delicate subject. It involves conversations about situations where they might not be able to make decisions for themselves due to health issues or incapacity. Due to the sensitivity of the topic, starting this important conversation requires careful thought and preparation.

The goal is to express concern for your parents’ well-being and the desire to protect their interests without implying they are incapable of managing their affairs. It is about preparing for the future together and ensuring you honor their wishes, no matter what happens.

By focusing on protection and preparedness, you can navigate this discussion in a way that respects their autonomy and dignity.

Choose the right time and place

Choose a comfortable, quiet place where you can talk without interruptions. Ensure it is a time when you are all feeling calm and not rushed. It is also important that your parents do not feel you are ambushing them with the conversation, so consider gently suggesting in advance a specific time to talk about future planning.

Focus on care and respect

When you start the conversation, emphasize your concern for their well-being and your respect for their independence. Make it clear that establishing guardianship is about ensuring you are able to protect their wishes and interests only if they are unable to do so; it is not about taking control away from them. Consider also using examples of situations where guardianship could provide them with security and peace of mind.

Listen to their concerns

Be ready to listen to your parents’ concerns and try to answer their questions. They may have fears about losing independence or worries about the future. By listening to and addressing these concerns, you can help them feel more comfortable with the idea of a guardianship.

Plan now in case of emergency

Figuring out what to do in case one or both of your parents become incapacitated or unable to make decisions is a delicate but necessary conversation. It is about ensuring that, in any situation, they have someone they trust making decisions in their best interest.

If necessary, Oklahoma has emergency options for putting a guardianship in place. However, establishing a plan before anything happens is one step toward peace of mind now for the whole family.