When an individual becomes unable to take care of themselves due to mental or physical incapacity, a conservatorship may become necessary to allow a family member to step in and take care of them.
A conservatorship is a legal proceeding where the Court takes the legal rights of an individual and transfers those to a Conservator to act on the incapacitated individual’s behalf.
When a conservatorship is needed, you must file a Petition with the Court requesting that you be appointed as Conservator on behalf of your loved one. Along with your petition, you will have to provide a written report from your loved one’s physician to explain why a conservatorship is needed. The Court will also appoint a Guardian ad Litem—a neutral attorney whose role is to look after the best interests of your loved one—to investigate and report back to the Court on whether a conservatorship is necessary.
Finally, the Court will conduct a hearing where it determines whether the conservatorship is appropriate and, if so, who will be appointed to manage the personal affairs and healthcare decisions of the incapacitated individual.
The length of this process can vary depending on the complexity of the situation, but it is not uncommon for it to take several weeks to a few months. Further, a conservator has an ongoing duty to report to the Court and act in the best interest of the incapacitated individual.
The conservatorship process can be confusing, emotional, and stressful. Contact us to discuss your situation with one of our attorneys to receive compassionate, experienced guidance through this legal process.