Cucinelli Geiger, PC

Guardian vs. conservator?

A guardian is defined as someone who is legally responsible for the health care of a person who has been declared incapacitated by a court. A conservator, on the other hand, is someone who is legally responsible for managing the finances of a person who has been declared incapacitated by a court.

The process starts with a petition filed in the city or county where the respondent lives, or where she lived immediately prior to moving to a nursing home, assisted living facility or other institution.

Then, a hearing will be scheduled to prove that a guardianship or conservatorship is necessary and who should be appointed as a guardian or conservator.

Demonstrating poor judgment isn’t enough.

You will need to demonstrate that your loved one cannot receive and evaluate information effectively to manage her health care and financial affairs or is subject to exploitation. A report by a licensed professional evaluating the legal capacity of the respondent may be required.

We understand that this can be an incredibly difficult decision as to whether or not to proceed with guardianship. We’re here to listen, and to take some of that burden off your shoulders.

There are alternatives to guardianship and conservatorship.

Seeking the appointment of a guardian and conservator should always be a last resort as it involves taking away a loved one’s rights. Also, the legal process can be time-consuming, costly, and emotionally challenging.  Alternative resolutions to managing a loved one’s health care and finances should be explored.

Planning ahead with a durable general power of attorney and an advance medical directive can help to avoid a guardianship or conservatorship. Come talk to us about obtaining a preliminary assessment of your loved one’s legal capacity to determine if it is possible to execute documents which allow you to manage their affairs.

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Call Today for Your Initial Consultation  (703) 481-6464