A guardianship can be used to help loved ones with a disability or medical condition that prevents them from being able to manage their own financial and medical affairs. Elder law is an area of the law that can help families prepare for, and attend to, the care of their loved ones.

One option to consider when a loved one can no longer safely or effectively care for themselves is a guardianship. The powers of a guardianship include ensuring the loved one receives the care they need; making financial decisions for the loved one; making medical decisions for the loved one; ensuring that the services received by the loved one are adequate and are maintained; and may require submission of updates to the court concerning the loved one’s condition.

A guardianship can be awarded by the court and may be awarded in circumstances of incapacity or disability, allowing the appointed guardian to make important decisions for the loved one who is referred to as the ward. Guardians are generally able to make financial and non-financial decisions for the ward. There are certain requirements to be a guardian which may vary by state so those seeking a guardianship of a loved one should be familiar with the requirements in their state.

A guardianship is an important tool to provide for the needs, desires and care of a loved one. Because guardianships can be complex, it is important for those seeking a guardianship to be familiar with how guardianships are set up and how elder law can help.