When a person hasn’t planned for the future and can no longer manage finances or make healthcare decisions, Conservatorship may be a solution.

What exactly is a Conservatorship? It is the means by which a court removes certain legal rights from a person who is not competent (the Respondent) and transfers those rights to another responsible party (the Petitioner). This is different from the authority authorized under a Power of Attorney document, in that the person signing a power of attorney retains his or her legal rights.

To obtain a Conservatorship, the parties must file a petition with the court, and the court will typically appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate whether a Conservatorship is needed. The Court must determine that the Respondent is a fully disabled person in need of assistance from the Court.

The Petitioner must provide evidence to the court to support the petition for Conservatorship, including an affidavit from a treating physician. The Respondent may object to the petition, and a hearing is then held by the court to determine whether the conservatorship is warranted.

Once created, the court continues to supervise the Conservatorship and will require periodic reports on the health and financial status of the respondent. Major decisions may require court approval.

Here are five signs you may need to file for a Conservatorship:

  • A person can no longer manage paying bills or manage assets
  • A person is making financial decisions that are out of character like giving money away or making unusual purchases
  • A person is doing things that are dangerous to themselves or their financial security and has a medical condition like dementia
  • You need to access bank accounts to pay expenses but you have no legal authority to access funds
  • A person needs medical care and you need legal authority to make care arrangements

Many people file for Conservatorship without a complete understanding of what it is or whether it is necessary. It is important to seek help from a qualified Elder Law Attorney who can assess the situation and help make an informed decision about the best solution for your unique situation.

Have questions about Conservatorship? Contact us today! It would be our honor to help you and your family. 865-951-2410 | info@elderlawetn.com