Guardianships and Conservatorships
Sometimes the ones we love aren't able to handle their own finances or make medical decisions for themselves. Hopefully when that time comes, our loved ones are prepared with appropriate estate planning documents like powers of attorney and health care directives giving power to family members to make decisions on their behalf. Unfortunately, that's not always the case. When you find that your loved one needs financial matters handled or medical decisions made but you don't have the authority, a guardianship and conservatorship proceeding likely needs to make place.
Guardianships are specifically for matters related to an individual’s “person” and day to day care. This includes medical decisions, where the person lives and who provides the person with care. A guardian has the authority to access health information and make major decisions for the person’s wellbeing to be taken care.
Conservatorships are for instances where an individual is not able to make financial decisions, carry out financial transactions or appropriately contract on their own behalf. When that occurs, a conservator is appointed to take over that role for the person who is no longer able to handle finances on their own. Conservators have a serious job and are required to keep an accounting of their expenses and any fees paid on the protected person’s behalf so they can be accurately reported to the court and other interested parties like family members or potentail heirs on an annual basis.
Understanding the process o being appointed a guardian or conservator can be tough, and the work of adhering to the guidelines of guardianship and conservatorship must be clearly reviewed. If you feel a loved one needs a guardian or conservator appointed to them, reach out to our office for an initial consultation today.