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Incapacity Guardianship & Conservatorship

Portrait of an adult woman with his elderly mother.

Plan For Your Future Care

Ensuring your health and assets will be in good hands.

Guardianship becomes necessary when you are no longer able to oversee your affairs. Ensuring that your future care will fall into the right hands is extremely important. Let us help you assign trusted loved  ones who can make rational decisions for your living arrangements, health care, and estate.

 

Care From Those You Trust Most

Guardianship ensures the right people will be able to care for you when you need it.

Plan For Your Future

Make sure a trusted guardian will be able to make important decisions when you can no longer act for yourself.  A guardian or conservator may handle your living situation, health care, and/or estate.

Guardianship

Assign a trusted person to make rational decisions in handling your health care and living arrangements.

Conservatorship

Determine who will manage your estate if you become incapacitated.

Who This Service is For

When a person becomes incapable to take care of his or her own affairs, they can be named a ward to a guardianship so a competent adult can care for the ward. A person appointed only for financial guardianship is called a conservator.

Want to Learn More?

A judge will decide when an adult needs guardianship, not a doctor. However, medical information is important to help the judge decide whether a person is legally incapacitated. Incapacity is measured by the respondent's functional limitations, specifically in their ability to:

  • receive/evaluate information
  • make/communicate decisions
  • provide for food, shelter, clothing, health care, or safety

The incapacity must be proven by clear and convincing evidence.

Any adult may file a petition for care. The petitioner may request a specified choice as guardian. There is a filing fee, but the fee can be waived.

If the court is satisfied that the respondent is incapacitated and that the appointment is necessary, the court will appoint a guardian. The guardian's authority will be limited unless nothing less than a full guardianship is adequate. The court's order will include the guardian's authority, and the letter of guardianship will conform to the order.

The letter shows the guardian's authority to make decisions for the protected person. The guardian will need to provide a copy of the letter to third parties, for example, the protected person's healthcare provider. The guardian should have the court certify at least one copy of the letter.