Whether due to illness, disability or sudden injury, there are instances in which a loved one is unable to make decisions regarding his or her medical care, money and other personal matters. As such, a family member or friend may file a petition with the local probate court in order to manage the person’s affairs as their legal guardian. However, the court must first consider the details concerning an injured person’s condition. If the person is deemed “incapacitated,” he or she is called a ward, and a guardian (or conservator, or both) is then appointed by the court to make decisions on their behalf. Even so, the process of becoming a guardian can be complicated, as there are differences in the role of a guardian and conservator that must be understood. What’s more, emotions tend to run high as family members and friends have different opinions regarding what’s best for their loved one.
Guardian vs. Conservator
To better understand the role of a guardian versus that of a conservator, a guardian is appointed to handle healthcare and non-monetary decisions, while a conservator is appointed to oversee financial matters of the ward. While the court may appoint the same person as both guardian and conservator, it may opt to appoint different individuals, if appropriate.
If an individual made a durable power of attorney prior to their injury or becoming incapacitated, the person named in the document will be granted the authority to make decisions.
In the event that the durable power of attorney named a person to handle financial matters only, however, the court may appoint a suitable person to oversee medical decisions. In this case, the court primarily looks to a spouse, adult child or other close family member.
Becoming a guardian is often a long-term commitment, and involves regular reporting to a judge. Thus, it is time-consuming and a great responsibility. That’s why it’s important to seek qualified legal expertise to best understand all of the options available to you and your family.
There’s A Resolution That’s Right For Your Situation, And We’ll Help You Get There
At Turner Law, Attorney Robert Turner provides trusted counsel and dedicated advocacy throughout every stage of the process, providing alternatives for families and easing tensions associated with difficult decisions. Whatever side of the issue you’re on, there’s a resolution that’s right for your unique situation, and we’ll help you get there. Call us today to discuss your needs.
Posted on behalf of Turner Law, LLC