Calls to our office from family members concerned about elderly relatives are not uncommon. For example, a son visiting his father in an assisted living facility may realize that his dad has left the stove on, failed to pay bills or clean up obvious messes. Perhaps the son wants to move the father into a more secure living environment but is being met with resistance. The father may be suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s and be unable to meet some basic needs and handle financial matters. In such a case, a guardianship and/or conservatorship may be appropriate.
Guardianship and conservatorship are legal processes used to protect individuals who are unable to care for their own well-being and/or finances due to incapacity or disability. The Court first determines whether the individual is indeed incapacitated and then appoints one or more persons to act as guardian of the person and/or conservator of the person’s finances. The guardian will be responsible for the incapacitated individual’s well-being and will be able to decide where the person will reside and consent to medical treatment and services. As a conservator, the appointee will be able to handle the incapacitated individual’s finances and make sure bills are timely paid.
We at Petty, Livingston, Dawson and Richards have streamlined this process and have made it easier for clients to navigate this process so that they can rest assured that their loved ones are taken care of in a vulnerable time of life. Please contact us if we can assist you in this manner.