We would all like to think that our elder years will be spent in peace and quiet, enjoying the fruits of our labors and the company of our friends and family. No one likes to think that they may spend their final years dealing with diminished mental or physical capacity and need to rely on children or others – even total strangers – to care for us and manage our affairs. As a result, many children find themselves in the upsetting scenario of dealing with an aging parent who is in denial about their capabilities. Despite a clear inability to handle themselves, the parents may resist any attempt to wrest control from them, making it difficult for children. Sometimes it becomes necessary to involve the Court in getting a conservator and guardian appointed.
Idaho courts have a mechanism for having an elderly parent (or anyone else exhibiting a decline in their ability to manage their own affairs) declared incompetent, and thus requiring the assistance of someone else appointed as the conservator and/or guardian for elderly parents.
This procedure involves the court which attempts to make a decision in the best interest of the alleged incapacitated person. The process is started by the person(s) seeking the appointment of guardian or conservator filing a petition. The Court will then designate a physician (usually the person’s own physician) to provide their opinion as to whether or not the individual needs either or both, a guardianship or conservatorship. The Court will also insure that the alleged incapacitated person has an attorney to represent his or her interest and will appoint an attorney if the alleged incapacitated person hires their own attorney. The court will also appoint a “visitor” who is a neutral party, who does an investigation on behalf of the court and makes a report and recommendation to the Court.