When our loved ones are in good health, we don’t think about things like conservatorship. However, if someone can’t make important decisions for themselves, a judge will appoint a person called a conservator to make those decisions. Decisions made by a conservator have the legal backing of the court. The conservator might be appointed to make financial or medical decisions or both. In today’s blog, the legal team at Davidson Law Group shares some facts about conservatorship.
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When is Conservatorship Appropriate?
Two things must combine to make a conservatorship appropriate:
- A person is physically or mentally incapable of making decisions.
- This person doesn’t have legal documents (a will or power of attorney) that cover decisions about personal and financial matters
How is a Conservatorship Set Up?
A conservatorship requires the filing of formal legal papers, followed by a court hearing in front of a judge. Legal papers have to clearly spell out the person’s physical or mental condition and inability to make decisions. Family members may have to be notified and given a chance to file their own legal papers, either supporting or contesting the conservatorship. Also, the person in question must be given a chance to contest the conservatorship if he or she can and desires to do so.
How Does a Judge Decide Someone Can’t Make Decisions?
In some cases, this might be obvious. If a person is unconscious or semi-conscious or perhaps has advanced Alzheimer’s, a judge will quickly assign a conservator. In other cases, a person may have mental limitations that diminish but don’t totally erase their decision-making capacity. In those types of cases, a judge has to weigh opinions and options.
When Does a Conservatorship End?
Often the conservatorship will last as long as the person lives. It can end, however, if the person regains the ability to make decisions. A financial conservatorship might end if the person no longer has assets to deal with. Also, the person serving as a conservator can change. This might happen if the conservator dies, moves away, or otherwise cannot fulfill the duties. A judge can also replace a conservator if the judge deems that the conservator is consistently making poor decisions.
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Contact Davidson Law Group
If you want to know more about conservatorship, consult with an attorney. The team at Davidson Law Group can help advise you on how best to protect your loved one. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us in Fort Worth, Allen, or Tyler today.