How do we get guardianship of my mother-in-law, who lives in a care facility and is out-of-state?

1 answer | Last updated: Nov 22, 2016
Jnbars asked...

How do my wife and I obtain gaurdianship of my mother-in-law, who is at a care facility in Las Vegas, while we live in Oregon?


Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a Caring.com senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

First make sure you want and need what you seek. An adult guardianship or conservatorship is a fairly drastic measure, but can be set up after a judge decides that a person can't take care of individual personal care and finances.
The person or people named to act as a conservator on behalf of the incapacitated older person will then be responsible for ensuring:

  • appropriate housing
  • health and medical care
  • food and clothing
  • housekeeping and personal care
  • transportation and recreation, and  
  • legal counsel in all legal matters.


If a conservator is also appointed for the person’s estate will also be responsible for:

  • managing all aspects of the person’s finances
  • protects all assets
  • applying for benefits, and
  • paying bills.


Your situation is made a bit more complicated by the fact that you are divided from your mother-in-law by a fairly long distance. Your first stop for good information about free and low-cost help with a conservatorship is the Senior Law section of the Nevada Legal Resources Directory.