As your parents age, you might begin to worry about their ability to care for themselves. Sometimes, a person can suffer from a diminished capacity to make sound decisions. This is the point when you might have to worry about taking legal control over your parent’s affairs. In order to do this, you will need an elderly guardianship appointment from the courts.

It is possible that your parent might voluntarily agree to you being named their guardian. In order to do this, they will have to be mentally capable of understanding what it means to give up their legal control to you. In the absence of a voluntary guardianship situation, you will have to turn to the court to make the decision about the matter.

Obtaining a guardianship over an adult is a complex undertaking. The court has to carefully consider what freedoms the person will lose and whether those are worth the benefits of the guardianship. As part of the court process, your parent’s other family members will be told of the petition. A court investigator will review the situation, so they can determine if the guardianship is necessary.

In some cases, the person might not actually need a guardianship. Instead, they might need help in very specific manners. This might include having someone manage their government benefits or setting up a living trust for their financial affairs. Powers of attorney designations are also helpful in these cases.

Any elderly individual who wants to set up a guardianship and take care of other estate planning documents should work with someone familiar with these cases. This is a very sensitive issue for many families, so be sure you handle the matter with great care.