Sometimes in life, people become unable to care for their person or their property. This can be due to age-related infirmity such as dementia or Alzheimer’s, a serious injury or illness, or other causes, such as minority (being under 18 years of age). This disability can be temporary or permanent.
Guardianship is a legal proceeding by which a court appoints someone to be a decision-maker to care for a person. Guardianships can be total or limited, depending on the circumstances, and can be temporary or fairly permanent. Sometimes they are used when a person other than a natural parent needs to care for a minor, other times they are used when a person is not capable of making rational decisions concerning their medical and personal care.
Conservatorship is a similar proceeding, but with regard to appointing someone to care for another person’s property. Legally, a guardian has little authority over a person’s property, and a conservator has little authority over the protected person. In many cases, the same person is appointed to both roles, but sometimes only one or the other is needed, or different persons need to fill each role.
These proceedings can be confusing to navigate. Our attorneys have experience in all facets of these matters, including petitioning for appointment, contesting appointment proceedings, terminating appointments, and serving as the guardian ad litem for the protected person.