Some California elders require help managing their affairs. A conservatorship may be appropriate in some cases but not in others. Some alternatives might be more appropriate for your loved one.
When a conservatorship is not needed
A conservatorship may not be needed if an elder adult retains their cognitive function. If they are able to understand and make their own important health-related and financial decisions, they do not need a conservatorship. However, if an elderly person still has special needs due to a disability or serious illness, they could still benefit from an alternative option.
Alternatives to conservatorship
If your elderly loved one is chronically or terminally ill, an advance health care directive is an appropriate alternative to a conservatorship. It allows them to determine what kind of medical treatment they want if or when their health takes a worse turn. If they become incapacitated and unable to voice their wishes, this legal document can let their wishes be known. They can also state in the advance health care directive who they want to handle their matters.
To handle your loved one’s financial affairs, a financial power of attorney is a good alternative to a conservatorship. It’s a legal document that gives them the option of appointing a trusted person to help them with financial matters such as paying bills and filing tax returns. Again, your elderly loved one must be competent to start this estate planning document and choose someone to help them.
A living trust is another option your loved one can have if they don’t need a conservatorship. It can hold assets and property to protect from probate while the person also serves as trustee to oversee it. After they pass away, a trusted person named as successor trustee will take over managing the living trust.
These are some of the best alternatives to a conservatorship for older individuals who still have sharp minds.