Guardianship & Conservatorship
When the people we love need help
We represent families, hospitals and nursing homes in Guardianship and Conservatorship cases. If your loved one is unable to make decisions, a Guardianship or Conservatorship may be necessary to authorize you to make decisions for him or her. We can help you obtain the legal authority to do so.
Guardianship is a legal relationship, giving one person, the guardian, the power to make personal decisions for another. A guardian may be appointed when the court determines that an individual is unable to care for himself or herself by reason of mental illness, mental retardation or physical incapacity. Conservatorship is a legal relationship, giving a person, the conservator, the power to make financial decisions for another. A conservator may be appointed when a Probate Court determines that an individual is unable to manage his or her property by reason of mental illness, mental weakness, mental retardation or physical incapacity.
Guardianship is appropriate when impaired judgment or capacity poses a threat to a person's welfare. Conservatorship is necessary when a person is no longer able to manage their financial affairs. A medical evaluation by a licensed physician is necessary to establish the person's condition. However, only a court can determine the need for a guardian or conservator.
For individuals that planned in advance and have a valid health care proxy and power of attorney, a Guardianship and/or Conservatorship is usually not necessary. However, sometimes the named health care proxy or power of attorney is not suitable to serve and Guardianship and/or Conservatorship may become necessary to appoint a suitable person.
In some cases, we serve as Guardian and/or Conservator in situations where a family member is not suitable to serve.