“My 74 year father, who lives in Florida, has been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer’s. My father’s doctor has notified us (his 4 children who live in New York, Florida, Georgia and Missouri) that he cannot live on his own, and that he must have elder care assistance. My father has been legally separated from his spouse for 2 years and currently does not maintain a relationship with his spouse. My dad refuses to agree to assisted living or any type of facility, he most often refuses his medical care and is demanding to live on his own. We have been notified due to his marital status that we may be unable to obtain power of attorney or guardianship for him. Because my dad is refusing his medical care we find it necessary to make a decision about his health and well being. We seek assistance in determining what legal options we may have to perhaps move him closer to one of us. My dad currently lives in Florida, however his children reside in New York, Florida, Georgia, and Missouri.“

Answer:  You should be able to obtain guardianship regardless of his marital status. Based on the situation you describe, that is the route I would recommend. You would need to petition for guardianship in Florida, where your father currently resides. Then, when successful, the guardian would seek court approval to move him to another state.

Victoria L. Collier, Attorney at Law
Collier & St. Clair, LLP
Decatur, Georgia  30030
Member of the national ElderCare Matters Alliance, Georgia chapter

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