Aurora Conservatorship Attorney

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Conservatorships are a powerful legal mechanism that removes a person’s control over their life.They are often a tool of last resort and can become controversial. It’s imperative that anyone involved with this situation have a skilled Aurora conservatorship attorney, like you find with Burr Law, working by their side.

These are complicated situations, and the laws can be challenging to navigate. In particular, you will want someone who knows how to make a strong case justifying the reason for the proposed conservatorship before the court.

What Is a Conservatorship?

A conservatorship is a helpful tool for protecting adult individuals who, for a number of different reasons, may not be able to care for themselves. Some of the reasons that conservatorships are placed over individuals is that they’ve reached an advanced age where they no longer have the capacity to make certain decisions or have come under an incapacitating illness. A conservatorship may also be put in place for individuals who have a disability, usually severely affecting their mental capacity.

These conservatorships will define the role that the conservator is to take on. In most cases, this is specifically related to the financial element of the incapacitated person’s life. They are usually responsible for managing their estate, paying bills, making financial decisions, and controlling assets.

There are also times when a guardian is appointed to handle personal care decisions. This person is responsible for decisions regarding medical treatment and care, the person’s living arrangements, and other critical issues regarding their care that they are unable to make themselves.

It’s important to realize that conservatorships are often a tool of last resort. Generally, a court will first look to any power of attorney arrangements, advanced directives, or special needs planning that is in place. Only where there are gaps or insufficiencies in these arrangements will the court intervene and give someone else authority. Additionally, these agreements are subject to modification and elimination should the incapacitated person regain the ability to make decisions for themselves.

Who Could Qualify to Be Placed Under a Conservatorship?

The courts are very careful about who they place under a conservatorship. A careful assessment will need to be made regarding their capacity to understand the information required to make decisions regarding their own welfare. Some of the situations that are more likely to result in a conservatorship include:

  • Advanced Age. As people age, there can be a decline in cognitive function. This can be brought on by conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, standard aging, or other conditions. This could lead to a need for help with managing finances and personal care.
  • Illness or Injury. Various illnesses and injuries, both temporary and permanent, can lead to a person’s inability to properly care for themselves and keep up with their finances.
  • Disability. One of the more common instances of a conservatorship being placed is a disability of some sort, usually mental but sometimes physical. When the disability impairs their ability to make decisions for themselves, these people may be placed under care.
  • Developmental Disability. Once a minor child with a developmental disability reaches adulthood, they may be placed under a conservatorship if they have not been able to develop the capacity to make decisions for themselves. A conservatorship can help ensure their welfare needs are met even after they are no longer minors.
  • Substance Abuse. There are times when a person’s relationship with substances and addiction could lead to them being placed under a conservatorship. The intent of the conservatorship is to prevent them from making decisions resulting in harm to themselves or their financial resources.
  • Financial Exploitation. Although rare, there may be times when someone is shown to be particularly vulnerable to financial exploitation. A conservatorship may be used to protect the individual’s financial situation, preventing them from losing the resources they need to survive.

Who Can Apply for a Conservatorship?

Ultimately, a judge will decide who is eligible for a conservatorship and whether or not the situation warrants one. This decision will come after a process of petition and evaluation and is decided in a court hearing. Generally, those petitioning for a conservatorship will come from one of four groups:

  • Family. Most frequently, it is family members who petition for conservatorship over a person. They tend to be closest to the situation and have the most knowledge of the individual. Also, because they usually know the individual well, they are in a good position to understand how to act in accordance with the interests of the individual involved. This will typically involve a parent, child, sibling, or another blood relative.
  • Friends and Caregivers. In some situations, those who aren’t family but are close to the individual, such as friends or caregivers, may recognize signs of incapacity and be in a position to petition the courts for a conservatorship.
  • Healthcare Professionals. Because healthcare providers, medical personnel, and even social workers may be closely evaluating individuals, they are often well-positioned to observe signs of incapacitation and vulnerability. While not usually seeking conservatorship themselves, they may petition the court to initiate the process to protect these individuals.
  • Public Guardianship. Public guardianship programs exist to step in and assist in situations where there are no family members or friends who can act as conservators. They can also step in if there is a conflict betweenthose eligible to become the conservator.

We Can Help With Your Conservatorship Needs

Conservatorships are a complicated and often controversial aspect of the law. They are, however, also a critical tool for ensuring those who are legitimately incapacitated receive proper care. It’s important, though, that the process of seeking, modifying, or eliminating a conservatorship be handled properly. To ensure that happens, it’s critical that you work with a lawyer who has a strong understanding of the relevant laws and knowledge of how to make a strong case before the court.

At Burr Law, we understand all the challenges involved with conservatorships. We recognize that these are often difficult decisions for families and come during emotional times. That’s why we pair our legal knowledge and skill with compassion for your emotional state. If you need comprehensive conservatorship or have questions about your situation, contact us today.

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