There comes the point in many elderly individuals’ lives in which they become unable to manage their finances on their own or care for themselves. When this happens, an adult child or other loved one may wish to step in as a guardian. Before the Virginia courts award guardianship, however, they will first want to ensure that the older adult is in fact need of keeping. The Office of the Executive Secretary, Supreme Court of Virginia, details whomay qualify for guardianship in Virginia.

For the courts to deem a guardian necessary, it will want to see that the person in question is incapacitated. An incapacitated adult is one who the courts find incapable of receiving and evaluating information in an effective or responsive manner. This inability must affect other areas of the person’s life.

If an adult is unable to meet the essential requirements for his or her safety, health, care and/or therapeutic needs without the assistance of a guardian, the courts may consider it necessary to appoint a guardian. Adults who demonstrate an incapacity to take care of themselves in this regard may live with memory loss or disorientation and demonstrate behavioral and physical changes, careless eating habits, neglect of personal hygiene and inadequate sleep.

The courts also consider a person’s ability to handle his or her financial affairs, handle personal property or provide support to dependents without the assistance of a conservator. However, findings that reveal that the individual displays poor judgment alone is not sufficient evidence to warrant the appointment of a guardian.

You should not use this article as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.