As grandparents, parents or other family members grow older, they often get to a place where they need the assistance of others to make decisions regarding their persons or their property. At those times, when prior planning has not been accomplished or is not sufficient, Court intervention may be necessary in the form of a guardianship and/or conservatorship.
A guardian is a person appointed by the Court to make decisions for a Ward concerning personal care issues such as healthcare and where they live. A conservator is a person appointed to assist with decisions about the Ward’s property and income.
Planning does help. Problems of caring for a disabled adult can often be avoided or lessened by the use of a health/mental health care power of attorney coupled with a general durable power of attorney for financial and business matters. But, even when these documents are in place, it may still be necessary to seek assistance from the Court. This could be so for any number of reasons, including refusal by the person needing assistance to cooperate or give necessary consents such as for moving to an assisted living facility. Senility or dementia can make assisting an elderly person difficult without Court intervention.
Often no advance planning has been done. In such cases, there is no other option. A guardianship/conservatorship is the only way to assist an elderly or disabled person who can no longer make decisions for themselves or live independently.
If you have a loved one who needs assistance, Court intervention may be necessary and helpful. Contact any of our Phoenix Guardianship attorneys at 602-277-4441 or use our contact form to schedule a no-fee initial conference. We will assist you in evaluating your situation, the needs of your family member and, if necessary, aid you in obtaining a guardianship and/or conservatorship.