Becoming Legally Responsible for the Care of a Loved One

If you have an adult loved one who is unable to care for him or herself, you will need to have the courts step in and appoint someone to be responsible for their care. This is known as a conservatorship and can apply to adult children, aging parents, siblings, or anyone else who requires someone to make decisions on their behalf.

You need to petition the court to become a conservator (or to have a conservator appointed), and show why the individual who will be the conservatee can’t care for themselves. To the greatest extent possible, the courts want to allow all individuals to make their own decisions, so it is important to be able to show clearly why this is not possible in your case. The courts can appoint a temporary conservator if there is an urgent need, and then a permanent one will be chosen once the full case can be heard.

Types of Conservatorships

There are different types of conservatorships, each of which is used in a different situation. The courts will tend to try to allow the person in question the most autonomy possible based on their situation and ability to care for themselves. The types of conservatorships are as follows:

  • General Conservatorship – A general conservatorship is for those who are unable to make their own decisions about finances or take care of themselves physically. These are most commonly used for elderly people, but can also be sought after a car accident resulting in brain injury or those with serious physical or mental disabilities.
  • Limited Conservatorships – Limited conservatorships are for those with developmental disabilities causing them to be unable to fully care for themselves or their finances. The courts will identify the specific areas where the conservator will be responsible for making decisions or providing care. The conservatee will still provide for much of their own care and decisions as they are able.

Get the Help You Need

Setting up a conservatorship can be a complex process, but it is extremely important for ensuring your loved ones are taken care of properly. Our team will work closely with you to draft the proper documents and put forth the proper evidence to have a conservatorship put in place. Please contact us to schedule a consultation where we can go over the details of your specific case.