If a person in your life can no longer make his or her own decisions or has significant special needs and depends on you to help meet his or her needs then you should consider the benefits to you and your loved one of advanced planning in the area of conservatorship and guardianship. If you are considering assuming the role of conservator or guardian on behalf of another person you should carefully consider and weigh the risks and rewards that come with this important legal position. Your first step towards obtaining the necessary information to make an informed decision on how to proceed with your specific issue should be consulting a skilled and trusted attorney specializing in matters of guardianship and conservatorship. Good trusted advice is extremely important is helping your navigate the law and your options and will give you and your loved ones peace of mind.
Several options exist under the law to help ensure a person with diminished capacity is cared for if you are no longer able to personally care for your loved one. The advanced appointment of a trusted guardian or conservator is a legal mechanism that may be used to assist your loved one. A protected person is someone who has been deemed by the court to be either incompetent or incapacitated. A protected person is usually appointed a guardian by the court to aid in helping the protected person make various decisions involving their health, care, Guardianship provides the guardian with decision-making authority and responsibility over the protected person’s personal affairs. Conservatorship is similar to guardianship in that it is a legal relationship between a protected person and one or more individuals are appointed by the court to make decisions on behalf of the protected person. The difference between the two is guardianship encompasses all decision making as to the personal affairs of a protected person while a conservatorship is limited to the management of the property and financial affairs of a protected person. Both guardianship and conservatorship can include one or more persons charged with these responsibilities and may be temporary or long term.
If a loved one has special needs long term planning is key to you and your loved ones peace of mind. A trusted attorney skilled in estate law and guardianship/conservatorship proceedings can best guide you through this process. Properly planned and professionally drafted legal documents will provide advanced directives to your loved ones caregivers as well as provide financial protection to ensure the continued care of your loved one with special needs.