Helping your parents navigate through the process of aging provides a chance for you to give back. There are so many areas where you can help. Depending on the type of estate planning your parent has done, you may be able to help with both medical and financial management. Often if they have a trust and the support documents, you can step in without the necessity of going to court.
When your parent has a will or no estate planning at all, you may have to go through a court process called a Conservatorship in order to help an aging parent. A conservatorship is a legal proceeding to appoint someone (conservator) to care for the personal needs of an incapacitated person (conservatee) and his or her assets. The conservator becomes responsible for making decisions for the conservatee when the conservatee cannot make decisions for herself.
If you are considering a conservatorship for a loved one and want to take on the role of the conservator, you will need legal representation in court. The court process determines if the person qualifies to be conserved, and if you are the right person to take care of their personal and financial affairs. If you are chosen and the court appoints you, then you have a responsibility to care of your loved one and protect their assets. This could include taking care of every aspect of their lives, including making their medical decisions.