As our parents age, it is natural for us to think about who will step in to make their financial and medical decisions when they are no longer able to do so. This becomes much more of a concern if they are diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer's disease. The best course of action to take is to make sure that your parents have a financial and a medical power of attorney in place so that the person they choose to make their decisions will be able to step in when appropriate.
As your parents age, you and your siblings will face issues of how to take care of your aging parents. As uncomfortable as it is to think about, your parents will likely need extra help in their golden years. Some folks will suffer from dementia, or they may become incapacitated in other ways. Forming a care plan with your siblings will help you find solutions for your parents that work for the whole family.
There are times when an incapacitated person, a Ward, may need either a guardian of the person or a guardian of the estate. There are other times when a Ward may need both. One person may serve in both roles, or the probate court may appoint two different people to serve in those roles.
The words guardianship and conservatorship are often used interchangeably, but they have different meanings in the State of Texas. The term conservatorship is synonymous with the word custody. It is used in the family law context when a family law court issues an order regarding custody and visitation for a minor child or children. For example, if two people have shared custody of a minor child, they have what is called joint managing conservatorship. An order for conservatorship may carry over after the eighteenth birthday of a child if the child has special needs and will need continued support from his or her parents into adulthood.
The answer to that question depends on the nature and severity of your child's disability. Each child is different, so each child's situation will require an independent evaluation. As the parent, you are the natural guardian of your child until he or she reaches the age of eighteen. As the natural guardian, you have the right to make medical, housing, and other decisions for your child. But when your child turns eighteen, thus reaching the age of majority, those rights are transferred to your child.