Guardianships and Conservatorships for Aging Parents
Conservatorship and Guardians in Probate Court
If your parent becomes mentally incapacitated – either due to a medical incident such as a stroke, or progressive decline such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, it may be time to seek a conservatorship or the appointment of a guardian. A legal guardian will help manage a person’s safety and welfare. A conservatorship will help manage their finances. The appointed guardian of the conservatorship both have a legal and “fiduciary” duty to act in the best interests of the individual. This could include securing a safe appropriate housing location, ensuring proper medical care, paying bills, and securing assets. The conservatorship must file an annual accounting with the Probate Court.
After a spouse, adult children have priority to petition and be appointed by the Probate Court as guardian of the conservatorship for their parents. If you are unable to care for your elderly parents, because you’re out of the area or for many other reasons, it may be necessary to petition the Probate Court to appoint a guardian or conservatorship to manage their affairs. If your parent needs a guardian or conservatorship, you should retain an attorney to guide you through the process.
It’s important to remember that older people tend to become victims of abuse, both physically and financially, by either self-serving family members and friends, or third-party predators. Check out this link for tips on how to protect yourself or your older loved ones.
I’d love to talk with you about all of the possibilities and ways to support your aging parents. Please click on the scheduling link to schedule a consultation or mediation that best suits your schedule.