Filing for Guardianship of a Senior Parent in California

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Obtaining Guardianship of Your Elderly Parent

By Glenn Krakow, 9:00 am on

If you provide in-home care in El Dorado County for an aging parent, you may have wondered whether it is in your mom or dad’s benefit to have you file for guardianship. Read on to learn more about exactly what guardianship means and how to file for it in the state of California.

What Is Guardianship?

In California, guardianship of an older adult is called conservatorship. This is a legal process in which the judge determines that the person in question is no longer able to care for him or herself independently. Ideally, your parent should designate the desired person as a conservator when he or she is still able to make decisions. This can be done through a power of attorney. Then, when the time comes that he or she is physically or mentally incapacitated, the conservator steps in. 

Filing for Guardianship

If prior arrangements have not been made, the conservator must be designated by the court. This process begins when the desired conservator files a petition in the probate division of the court. While any responsible person can file for conservatorship, including a professional in-home caregiver, the law first considers the spouse, then an adult child, parent, or sibling in that order. 

You must apply separately to be a conservator of the person, which allows you to make medical decisions, and conservator of the estate, which allows you to make financial decisions. The correct form for both of these petitions is GC310, available for download through the official website of the California court system. If applying for medical conservatorship, your parent’s physician must fill out form GC335, which declares that he or she is incapable of making medical decisions independently.

After filing the forms, the court will give notice of the filing to persons specified by law, including grandparents, parents, children, siblings, and other family members. You’ll then receive a hearing date and case number, for the hearing in which the judge will decide whether you are an appropriate conservator.

Being the primary caregiver for an aging parent is not without its challenges. If you could use help meeting your loved one’s care needs or you simply need some time for yourself, turn to Home Care Assistance. Our trusted El Dorado County respite care ensures your loved one receives high-quality care at times you cannot be present yourself. To learn more, give us a call at (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411 and speak with a friendly Care manager today.