Updated: Jun 19
Often, people ask about family members or other loved ones who are unable to care for themselves because of disease, age, or disability. Some people need a support person to manage their health care and medications, housing, or other personal concerns.
Guardianship is a legal process that gives a person or entity the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of another person who is unable to make decisions for themselves. Under the law, this can be due to a variety of reasons, such as mental illness, intellectual disability, or physical disability.
Guardianships and conservatorships are typically established by a court. The guardian has the legal authority to make decisions about the ward's finances, property, and personal care.
There are two main types care relationships:
Guardianship: This type of Order gives the guardian the authority to make decisions about the ward's personal care, such as where they live, what they eat, and what they do.
Conservatorship: This type of Order gives the guardian the authority to make decisions about the ward's finances, such as managing their bank accounts, paying their bills, and investing their money.
Guardianships can be either temporary or permanent. Temporary guardianships are typically used when the ward is unable to make decisions for themselves for a short period of time, such as during a medical crisis. (This might be useful where a person is unable to communicate for a long period of time and no Durable Medical Power of Attorney was in place.) Permanent guardianships are typically used when the ward is unable to make decisions for themselves for a long period of time, such as due to a mental illness or intellectual disability.
If you are considering guardianship, there are a few things you should do:
Talk to an attorney to learn more about the process and to see if guardianship is the right option for you.
Talk to the ward to find out what they want and to make sure that they understand what guardianship means.
Talk to the ward's healthcare providers to find out whether they support it.
Talk to the ward's family and friends to get their input.
Guardianship is a serious decision, but it can be a helpful way to make sure that the ward receives the care they need. A guardian or conservator must complete an informational program and swear to a court that they will carry out certain tasks, such as yearly reporting of the ward's personal or financial condition. This is not a process to undertake lightly; however, it can resolve a number of issues for the right client.
Please reach out if this sounds like something you want to consider.
This post was created with the assistance of Bard, an AI solution from Google.