Guardian ad litem for grandfather w/ Alzheimer's --- what will be my duties?

Apologies if this is in the wrong forum; I throw myself at the mercy of the moderators in such a case, and beg their forgiveness.

My mother recently called me about becoming guardian ad litem for my grandfather, who, as stated in the title line, has Alzheimer’s and is not long for kingdom come. My mother asked me to do this, because she is incapable of doing so herself (health problems affecting her memory and judgment). What will be my duties and responsibilities if I choose to do so (which I probably will)?

I have left a message with his probation officer, and will talk with him about it in detail, but I’d like to get a slew of second opinions as to what I would have to do, from those who have experience in such matters. I do not want to jump into this unprepared.

Also, I would like to add that I am 21 years old and am a resident of the state of Florida.

I have an idea that the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America might be a good place to start for assistance and answers.

I’m assuming that your Grandfather’s in Florida also?

I ask because at one time my Mom & Dad lived in Florida and I did not. Florida law, at least as explained to me at the time, required that the Executor of an estate be a Florida resident. It may be the same in the case you’re involved in.

Just saying is all.

Good luck.

I’m not sure of the duties of a guardian ad litem in Florida.

In New York, guardians ad litem are usually appointed by a court just for the purpose of representing a potentially incompetent person in a particular litigated matter. For instance, in a custody dispute, there may be a guardian ad litem appointed to represent the interests of the minor children and advocate on their behalf. The guardian ad litem is usually a person (often a lawyer, but sometimes a social services provider) who is neutral and unconnected with the dispute. Appointment as a guardian ad litem in New York is not considered a “guardianship”, under Article 81 of the Mental Health Law.

In a true guardianship in New York, one may be appointed as “guardian of the person”, “guardian of the property” or both. A guardian of the person is responsible for all aspects of the personal care of the ward (unless limited by the court). In other words, a guardian of the person is responsible for medical care, personal life choices (e.g. institutionalization), and day to day living, down to making sure the ward has food to eat. A guardian of the property, on the other hand, is responsible for managing the ward’s money, investments, and other property.

In New York, there is a great deal of paperwork and administration involved with being an Article 81 guardian. Often families will deal with family members of declining ability through durable powers of attorney and health care proxies.

Before agreeing to do anything, you should have a detailed discussion with the lawyer handling the proceedings, or a lawyer of your own experienced in elder law issues.

Good luck with these difficult issues.