At The Forefront Of Disability And Elder Law

Do your elderly parents need a guardianship or conservatorship?

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2023 | Elder Law |

Growing older brings its own unique set of challenges. For some, these challenges could involve a struggle with tasks that once seemed simple, like managing finances or making decisions about personal care. Cognitive decline or health conditions might inhibit others’ ability to look after themselves.

If these scenarios seem familiar to you in the context of your parents, it might be time to consider guardianship or conservatorship. These options are legal tools designed to assist adults who can no longer manage their own affairs.

What is guardianship?

In a guardianship arrangement, one person (the guardian) receives the authority to make personal decisions for another (the individual). As a guardian for your parents, you would be making decisions about their health and welfare.

For example, you might have to decide where your parents will live, what medical treatments they should get, or even what their daily routines should be like, and having a guardianship in place could assist you in doing so. Bear in mind, the court will only grant guardianship if it feels that your parents truly need it, cannot manage their affairs by themselves, and there are not other alternatives available.

What is a conservatorship?

If you take on the role of a financial conservator for your parents, you would handle their finances, pay their bills, manage their investments, and handle other financial tasks.

You would only assume this responsibility if your parents are no longer capable of managing their own financial affairs. This inability could arise from a cognitive decline, like dementia, or simply because finances have become too complex for them to handle.

Whether your parents need a guardianship, a conservatorship or both, is a decision that demands careful thought. These roles carry many responsibilities and demand serious commitment. Understand your parents’ needs and less restrictive options available thoroughly before making this decision.


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