Elderly Guardianship

Elderly Guardianship, sometimes called Elder Conservatorship, is a relationship between an elderly person and a legally appointed representative. This guardian can be a spouse, adult son or daughter, adult relative, friend, or other legal representative. After applying for and receiving guardianship, the guardian becomes the responsible party for the elderly person’s health, safety, and well-being. Port Legal can provide advice and instruction regarding how to apply for and be appointed as a legal guardian for your elderly loved one.

What is Guardianship in Elder Care?

Who needs a guardian? Elderly adults may be in need of a guardian if they cannot effectively and safely meet their own health and wellness needs. For example, someone who needs help meeting their physical, mental, hygiene, and nutrition needs may qualify. A guardianship is typically reserved for people whose mental capacities have been reduced enough that another adult needs to step in. A conservatorship, on the other hand, is put in place when a person’s mental faculties are strong, but they need physical supervision or support.

Who can be appointed as a guardian? Although the adult children of elderly individuals often become guardians, there are many different types of individuals who can serve in the role, including spouses, partners, family members, adult relatives, friends, and government agencies. In order to become a guardian, you will need to go through a complex guardianship application process, which is reviewed by a judge.

What does a guardian do? Essentially, the guardian’s job is to prioritize the needs of the elderly individual they are responsible for. When you take on the role of elderly guardian, you promise to make sure the person’s physical and psychological needs are met, and that the person lives in a safe environment. Sometimes this means being a caregiver, but it may also mean selecting competent caregivers in the home or a long term care facility.

There are four types of guardianship

Person and/or estate

This guardian protects and controls the persona needs of a ward or the assets of the ward.


This guardian’s authority is limited to certain purposes; any powers that the guardian are not granted are retained by the ward.


This guardian is court appointed for a short time only, typically after a guardian is no longer able to serve or is removed. The ward or the ward’s family do not have to be informed of this appointment, which lasts until a hearing determines who will be appointed to be the successor.


In the event of an emergency,  the court appoints an individual without notice to the ward or their family. This guardian serves for a short period of time to protect the interests of the ward or the estate of the ward.

How do you plan for end of life for a loved one in hospice or palliative care?

Some may believe thinking about the end of life is disrespectful, at best. However, planning is prudent and likely what our loved one wants us to do. This guide is designed to help you navigate these difficult times.

How Can an Elder Care Law Attorney Help You?

An elder care law attorney will not just help you create an estate plan, they will walk you through the personal care matters that often come up as we age. It’s also important to note that elder care law attorneys can be appointed as guardians as well, if they are properly trained and best suited to the task. 

Personal protection, care, and the complexities of Medicare and Medicaid are all within the purview of an elder care law attorney. They have the experience and knowledge that you need to navigate the challenges that accompany aging.

Need Help with Elder Care?

Port Legal offers free consultations with our knowledgeable elder care law attorney.

Fill out the form for more information or call 614-641-7399.

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