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Elder incapacity: Is it time for a conservatorship?

On Behalf of | Nov 17, 2021 | Conservatorship

As your parents start to age, you may find yourself in a position where you’re not sure that they can take care of themselves any longer. You want to make sure that their finances are taken care of and that their bills are paid. You also want to make sure that they’re taking care of themselves.

You may have heard about using conservatorships in the past and be aware that it’s a possible solution to this problem, but a conservatorship really should be the last resort. When your parents are still able to make some decisions for themselves, it may be better to look into setting up other protections, like a health care power of attorney or representative payee for Social Security benefits.

How can you help your parents manage their finances without a conservatorship?

One of the easiest options is to work with your parents to set up a joint bank account. That way, you’ll have control over the money that is in the account and can make payments for utility bills or other costs directly. Your parents may also set up a financial power of attorney document to give you the ability to make financial decisions on your parents’ behalf.

How can you help your parents with their personal care without a conservatorship?

If you’re interested in helping your loved one take better care of themselves without stepping in with a conservatorship, you can consider setting up a health care power of attorney. You can look into other options, too, like hiring in-home health care support, cleaners and other third parties who can help your parents with simple tasks like getting ready for the day or taking care of cleaning around the home.

An adult conservatorship isn’t always the right solution, especially if your loved ones are mentally capable of making decisions for themselves. If they need support, there may be other options that don’t take away their rights and still give them the help that they need to live their lives as independently as possible. If you’re not sure if a conservatorship is the right solution, consider all the legal alternatives first.