Do you find yourself in a situation in which you are watching a member of your California family struggle to care for himself or herself, manage finances and simply navigate day-to-day life? This is a truly sad situation, but you may not be totally powerless. There may be legal options by which you can secure the right to care for and make decisions on behalf of your loved one.
A conservatorship, sometimes called guardianship, is a legal tool that allows a person to make decisions for another person. Typically, the other person is incapable of making decisions, perhaps due to mental or physical incapacitation. If you believe that this would be in the best interests of your loved one, you would find it beneficial to reach out for the appropriate guidance.
What does a guardian do?
The entire premise of appointing a person as guardian of another is to protect the best interests of that individual. The legal rights and responsibilities of the guardian will depend on the needs of the ward. Some of the duties of the guardian may include the following:
- Making financial decisions
- Ensuring that the ward gets needed medical care
- Making medical and health care decisions
- Assuring continued care for the ward
- Making sure the ward gets needed education
The guardian will also have the responsibility of providing the court with regular updates about the condition and care of the ward. The updates can include information about finances, medical care, special needs, asset management and services needed and provided by the guardian.
Not everyone can be a guardian. In order to act as a guardian of another adult, you must be at least 18 years of age, not be incapacitated and not have a criminal record with a felony conviction or misdemeanor conviction involving dishonesty. If you would like to act as guardian for a loved one, you would be wise to make your first step seeking a complete explanation of your legal options.
The best decision for your family
It is never easy to decide to set up a conservatorship for a disabled or incapacitated loved one. This involves a legal process, and you would be wise not to walk through it alone.
With the right support and guidance, you can make decisions for your family that allow for the protection and support of a person who cannot live independently. Learning more about this step and securing qualified guidance is a good place to begin.