The need for a conservatorship arises in a variety of settings. An adult
may have been born with an intellectual disability, they may have suffered
serious brain damage in a car wreck, they may be afflicted with Alzheimer’s
disease, or they may be losing their cognitive function due to the advanced
symptoms of aging – all of these situations may give rise to a conservatorship.
Conservatorship is a legal proceeding where a court removes the decision-making
powers from a disabled person. Such an individual is 18 or older and they
lack the capacity to make decisions in one or more critical areas, such
as their personal finances. In a conservatorship, this individual is called
Conservatorships don’t have to take an “all or nothing”
approach. A ward’s decision-making duties can be removed in whole
or in part, but the goal is to ensure that the ward has as much independence
as is reasonably possible.
The nature of the conservatorship varies from person to person, and the
court is obligated to impose the least restrictive alternative available
to adequately protect the ward and his or her property.
Conservators Are Accountable to the Court
If you are considering becoming a conservator, you must know that conservators
are held accountable to the court. Unless a conservator is otherwise ordered
by the court, he or she is required to report to the court on an annual
basis on the ward’s status and the financial activity of the
conservatorship. Further, conservators must obtain approval from the court before they
can do certain things.
There are costs involved in administering a conservatorship, including
court filing fees, guardian ad litem fees, and the expenses associated
with obtaining the necessary records and affidavits. Additional costs
may include expenses relating to accounting and financial reports.
Conservatorships Are the Best Way to Protect Vulnerable Adults
If you are considering conservatorship for your loved one, the pros and
cons must be considered carefully since appointing a conservator is a
serious matter that limits a person’s independence and rights.
In many situations, however, appointing a conservator is the best way to
protect a vulnerable person, especially when they lack the mental capacity
to manage their own affairs.
There is no magic formula or “ideal” age to consider a conservatorship.
The best way to go about it is to consider the person’s individual
needs and abilities since protecting their independence will be the strongest
consideration when deciding if it’s best to seek a conservatorship.
To learn more about conservatorship in Nashville,
contact my firm by calling (888) 492-4735 today!