Sometimes our loved ones need assistance making decisions, and the law is generally supportive of finding the least restrictive ways of helping keep our loved ones safe and healthy. There are ways to plan ahead for just such circumstances (Powers of Attorney for financial decisions and Health Care Directives for medical and personal decisions). And, much of the time, these documents will work well to allow care-givers to assist with weakened decision-making skills. But, when these documents are not in place prior to vulnerabilities setting in, or when they are not sufficient, Guardianship and/or Conservatorship are available through the court system.
Guardianship and/or Conservatorship is court-supervised care-taking by appointed loved one, trusted care-taker, or professional to make decisions on behalf of a person subject to such proceedings. The court requires regular reports, and the appointed Guardian and/or Conservator is required to follow all court-ordered expectations and abide by the terms of the order appointing them as decision-maker. If you believe your loved one may require such assistance with their health and financial decision-making, speaking with an attorney who practices in this area may clarify the requirements and expectations of pursuing this legal proceeding.