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3 types of guardianships to consider

If you have a loved one who is in need of physical assistance, you might be wondering what your best options are. The answer to this depends on the specifics of your situation. An aging parent who needs help planning her or his estate will have different needs than a mentally-disabled adult who requires assistance with managing daily responsibilities. In either case, though, a guardianship may be best.

Guardianships are not one-size-fits-all. On the contrary, several options exist when it comes to tailoring a guardianship to its ward. Consider the following three options if you believe a guardianship might be the right legal step for you and your loved one:

1. Estate guardianship

According to the AARP, 60 percent of Americans have not established an estate plan. The older an individual becomes, the more problematic this can be. Aging parents and others who need to plan for the future might be unable to do so. In this case, an estate guardianship is often the best option for providing the necessary assistance. The guardian of an estate can assist the ward with planning.

2. Personal guardianship

Sometimes, the primary concern is not an individual's finances or estate, but the individual in question. In such cases, a personal guardianship endows a guardian to provide care for the individual in question and manage her or his day-to-day responsibilities. This might include arranging health care, paying bills and tending to other necessities that would otherwise be neglected.

3. Full guardianship

If you are concerned about both the estate and personal well-being of a loved one, a full guardianship may be ideal. This gives a guardian the ability to oversee a person's daily affairs as well as her or his finances and estate. It is typically more difficult to get approval for such an arrangement, but if there is evidence of its necessity, you can follow the legal process to petition for full guardianship.

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