Guardianships and Conservatorships
When a person is incapacitated, whether through disability or minority, and can’t manage their own financial and legal affairs, appointment of a guardian or a conservator might necessary. Being “incapacitated” typically means that the person is so impaired that they do not have the ability to assess and make good and safe personal decisions or meet their basic personal needs. A court decides whether someone is incapacitated. Guardians and conservators serve distinct functions. A guardian looks after the personal needs of an incapacitated individual, while a conservator looks after the financial affairs of the individual.
The process for both appointment of both a guardian and a conservator begins with a petition asking the probate court for the appointment and explaining why the process is necessary. Guardianships and conservatorships are serious legal steps but they are sometimes necessary. The law firm of Cooper & Riesterer has extensive experience advising families and others regarding all aspects of the process, including:
- Assessing the necessity of appointment of a guardian/conservator and exploring alternatives, such as power of attorney documents
- Preparation of the petition to the probate court, including assembling the requisite evidence necessary to show the probate court judge why appointment of a guardian/conservator is necessary
- Attending any necessary probate court hearings to assist the proposed guardian/conservator in obtaining appointment
- Assisting the guardian and conservator in preparing the requisite inventories and accountings
Preparation of a comprehensive estate plan can avoid the necessity of guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. This is preferable because it allows an individual to make the decision about who will act for them in the event of incapacity before they become unable to make legal and financial decisions. We can assist you in preparing a comprehensive estate plan that accomplishes this. To learn more about the estate planning services we offer, visit our Estate Planning page.
If you are looking for assistance or advice regarding the guardianship/conservatorship process, please contact us today.