Guardianships and Conservatorships - Thorp Purdy Jewett Urness & Wilkinson, P.C.
Guardianships and Conservatorships
If a loved one executed a power of attorney and/or an advance directive for health care while they had capacity, hopefully their representatives will be able to make decisions regarding his/her care and finances without necessitating Court involvement. However, if an individual lacks capacity and does not have a power of attorney and/or advance directive for health care, or for one reason or another, the power of attorney or advance directive for health care are not sufficient, there may be a need for a guardianship or conservatorship.
In order to be appointed guardian or conservator for a person, a petition must be filed before the Court requesting such an appointment. Additionally, certain persons are given the opportunity to object to such appointment and there may be a hearing scheduled on the matter.
A guardian is the court appointed person who can make decisions regarding an incapacitated person’s health care, placement and general care. A conservator is the court appointed person authorized to handle the finances and assets of the incapacitated person. Incapacity is not easy to determine. In order for someone to be considered incapacitated to the degree that a guardianship may be necessary, the person is in a condition in which their ability to receive and evaluate information effectively or to communicate decisions is impaired to such an extent that the person lacks the capacity to meet the essential requirements for the person’s physical health or safety. Financial incapacity is indicated when the person is in a condition in which they are unable to manage financial resources effectively for reasons including, but not limited to, mental illness, physical illness or disability, confinement, disappearance, chronic use of drugs or controlled substances, etc.
Guardianships and Conservatorships are to be taken very seriously, as they take away an individual’s right to make decisions regarding where they live, what care they receive and/or how their finances are managed or spent.
Our attorneys are experienced in the areas of guardianship and conservatorship. We will meet with you, discuss the situation your loved one is in and work with you to determine if a petition for the appointment of a guardian or conservator is appropriate.