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 person or the 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 in regards to their health and where they live. A conservator is a person appointed to assist with making decisions about the Ward’s property and income.
Many times, these kinds of issues are resolved ahead of time with a healthcare power of attorney (for health matters) or a financial durable power of attorney (for financial issues). Even when these documents are put into place, it may still be necessary to involve the Court for any number of reasons, including refusal by the person needing assistance to consent to being moved, or because the healthcare power of attorney did not include mental health powers (giving the agent the right to commit a person to a mental healthcare facility), or because an institution refuses to acknowledge the power of attorney. Many other times, people simply have not engaged in prior planning in the first instance so that the only means to assist your family members is through the courts.
If you have a loved one who needs assistance under these kinds of scenarios, Court intervention may well be necessary. You should contact an experienced attorney to assist you with evaluating your situation and, if necessary, aiding you in obtaining a guardianship and/or conservatorship.