Guardianship and Conservatorship Planning

A conservatorship or guardianship is accomplished through filing a petition and a legal proceeding. The person who files a petition with the court requesting that conservatorship or guardianship is called the petitioner. In this legal proceeding, the court orders the appointment of a guardian or conservator to act as a decision maker for another party. The court makes its decision on convincing and proven evidence that the other party has been found to be unable to make decisions on his or her own behalf. It’s called the finding of incapacity.

The Difference Between Conservatorship and Guardianship

A conservator is appointed to make monetary decisions for the incapacitated person. The conservator has the legal authority to pay bills, manage assets and take care of other financial needs. In contrast, a guardian is appointed to make personal decisions for the unable person, such as medical care, housing and education. The person under guardianship is called the ward. Overall, guardianship is centered on the ward’s basic personal needs. The person under the conservatorship is known as the protected person.

The Process

The process for guardianship and conservatorship is pretty straightforward. Attorney Leticia Martinez helps prepare the petition and files it with the appropriate court. The court will then schedule a hearing with all interested parties. Prior to the hearing, attorney Leticia Martinez will review with you the details of the hearing. The petitioner testifies at the hearing regarding the need for a guardian or conservator. The court also assigns a guardian ad litem to represent the interests of the respondent during the proceedings. This appointee may appear at hearings, present evidence, verify medical evaluations and interview witnesses and relatives. As long as there are no objections to the petition, the court will issue a letter of guardianship or conservatorship. Any person may file a petition for the appointment of a guardian or conservator. The person filing a petition does not have to be the person who will be appointed guardian or conservator.

Attorney Leticia Martinez helps clients in the preparation of guardianship and conservatorship petitions and works with client to maneuver through the probate process. If you’re considering filing a petition for conservatorship or guardianship, turn to attorney Leticia Martinez for legal assistance. Let her experience work for you.

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