Guardianship give a person the right and authority to take over the affairs of another. This usually happens in one of two situations:
- Should an adult be unable to handle his or her own affairs, due to age, disability or disease, another (typically a spouse or adult child) may be appointed by the court to be that person’s guardian.
- Should a minor not have a living parent who is able and willing to function as a parent due to disability, incarceration or other reason, an adult (typically a sibling, grandparent or relative) may be appointed by the court.
Guardianship requires medical proof (such as a doctor’s letter) of incapacity. Guardians provide an annual status report to the court. Parents petitioning to be appointed guardians of a disabled child who is reaching adulthood receive special consideration under the law. Guardianship always requires a court hearing. The help and advice of an experienced attorney is always recommended. Guardianship may be reviewed and modified or terminated upon the petition of any interested party with legal standing.
Conservatorship is a court appointment to manage and take care of a disabled person’s financial affairs. Conservatorship is often done in conjunction with guardianship. Conservatorship requires a court hearing and experienced legal counsel is alway recommended.
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