What is Adult Conservatorship?
A conservatorship is similar to a guardianship in that it is a legal designation given to an individual or individuals by the Court after a formal petition and hearing. This can include individuals that have experienced traumatic brain injury, as well as conservatorship for seniors who are no longer capable of independently making financial decisions nor meeting their basic needs through the consistent payment of necessary bills such as utilities and other necessities purchases. Guardianships and conservatorships, once established, remain in place through the protected person’s lifetime or until the court terminates the guardianship or conservatorship.
What’s the Difference Between Adult Guardianship and Adult Conservatorship?
While Adult Guardianship and Adult Conservatorship are often appointed together and at the same time for the same individual, they each deal with a different aspect of the life of someone in need. A guardianship deals with rights and duties relating to a person’s health and wellbeing, while a conservatorship deals with the rights and duties relating to a person’s financial assets and expenditures. It is not always necessary to have a conservatorship where a guardianship is appropriate. Conservatorships require annual accountings, periodical audits, and other duties to the Court that may be unnecessary given the amount or value of the assets of the individual. An attorney experienced in the area of conservatorship law will be able to assess if an adult conservatorship is appropriate given your specific circumstances.
These circumstances may include:
- Budgeting and planning for long term care of an individual unable to do so themselves as a result of an inability to make financial decisions.
- Setting up and meeting Spend-Down requirements to qualify an individual in need for government benefits such as Medical Assistance.
- Maintaining assets during an individual’s period of incapacity by managing finances and leveraging real and personal property for the benefit of the person in need.
- The sale of a home where an individual will be unable to return to their home and must be transitioned into a supportive facility which will be able to assist in attending to their needs.
- Protecting assets of a person vulnerable to exploitation or recovering assets for someone who has been the victim of financial exploitation.
How Can a Conservatorship Attorney Help Me?
The court maintains oversight of conservators, which have duties and responsibilities to the protected person as well as duties and responsibilities to report to the court. Some of these duties to report occur annually, and some arise as a result of an event which impacts the conservatorship. An experienced conservatorship attorney can help conservators navigate the legal duties or clear the legal hurdles that conservators face. In addition, where a bond is required to manage the assets as a conservator, it is also generally required by bond companies that a conservator maintain legal representation through an attorney in order to help ensure that the protected person’s assets are properly managed and accounted for.
The attorneys at Arctos Law have the experience and knowledge necessary to help you navigate your options, help establish the best legal arrangement for your family or loved one and guide you through the legal requirements of your role as conservator.