Guardianship & Conservatorship 2018-09-16T23:22:59-06:00

What Is Guardianship Law?

There are times when a loved one becomes incapacitated and needs help making decisions regarding both medical care and various aspects of his or her living situation. When this occurs without a medical power of attorney, the Court may step in and appoint a guardian.

The goal of an adult guardianship is to empower the most appropriate individual to act on the best interests of the person needing protection while maximizing independence and dignity.

Once the guardianship is established, the guardian has the ability to make decisions for the health, welfare, and support of the individual.

A guardianship can be uncontested or contested. An uncontested guardianship requires less time and expense, but still must be heard by a judge and adjudicated by the Court. Three common ways a guardianship can be contested are:

  • A dispute exists on whether a guardian is needed
  • There is a disagreement regarding who should serve as guardian
  • In cases when a guardian has already been appointed but an action is initiated to modify or terminate the guardianship

What is the Difference Between a Guardianship and a Conservatorship?

There are times when a loved one needs assistance with his or her assets and property. When this occurs without a Durable Financial Power of Attorney, the Court may appoint a conservator during a protective proceeding.

Conservatorships and guardianships share many similarities and are often accomplished at the same time. However, key differences distinguish the two.

One important distinction is that a finding by the Court that an individual needs a conservator does not result in a determination of incapacity. Another contrast is the statutory order of preference of who should serve as conservator is different than for guardianship.

As with a guardianship, maximizing autonomy and considering the wishes of the protected person are guiding principles for conservatorships.

Regardless of your family’s specific situation, I can provide you with effective legal assistance to navigate the process of obtaining a guardianship and/or conservatorship.