Attorneys Facilitating Conservatorships
There are times when legal action may be needed to provide needed protection and care for disabled adults. Our experienced family and estate attorneys will help you navigate the legal options and find the right one for you and your loved ones. We are here to guide you through the difficult decisions you need to make.
What is a Conservatorship?
Conservatorship is a legal tool available to help an adult who is suffering from a disability and cannot manage their own affairs. A conservatorship can give you the legal authority you need to manage a loved one’s personal and/or financial affairs when your loved one cannot take care of themselves. If your loved one does not have a Power of Attorney or other document that appoints a fiduciary or healthcare power of attorney, a conservatorship may be necessary. Additionally, even if a power of attorney was previously executed, a conservatorship may still be needed to best protect your loved one.
When you file a conservatorship, you initiate a legal proceeding wherein the court will determine if your loved one needs a conservator and, if so, will appoint an appropriate individual or entity to make decisions that are in the best interest of your loved one. Such decisions can include medical and personal decisions, financial decisions, or all the above. When a conservatorship is granted by the court, the person over whom a conservatorship is placed is referred to as the “ward” and the person who makes decisions for the ward is the “conservator.”
To obtain a conservatorship over a loved one, you must prove that the person is an adult with a qualifying disability. Tennessee law defines a person with a disability as someone who needs assistance or protection because of a physical or mental illness, a developmental disability, or another type of incapacity. Conservatorships may be granted when someone is temporarily disabled by an illness or accident, or, more often, when your loved one needs assistance with their affairs for the remainder of their lifetime.
While an attorney is not required to file for a conservatorship, we strongly recommend that you hire counsel to help navigate the complex process. One of our skilled attorneys can assist with your conservatorship case and provide the following services:
- Prepare the initial documents for filing the conservatorship, including a physician’s affidavit, so that you meet all the specific legal requirements.
- Assist you in presenting your petition in court during a hearing.
- Assist you in collecting relevant proof to support your case.
- Assist you in dealing with other attorneys who may be involved with your loved one/ the case, such as a Guardian ad Litem or Attorney ad Litem.
- Direct you to prepare a report listing all the ward’s assets.
- Direct you in managing the ward’s assets, including preparing any required accountings to the court and any bond requirements.
- Help you keep abreast of any changing laws while you serve as conservator for your loved one.
It is easy to feel overwhelmed when helping to care for a loved one, much less in considering whether to seek a conservatorship. You may face family disputes regarding who should serve, how best to manage your loved one’s money and assets, whether to put your loved one in a care facility, or your loved one may even disagree that a conservatorship is necessary. At Herndon, Coleman, Brading, & McKee, LLP, we recognize that conservatorships often involve highly sensitive financial issues and complex family situations. Our attorneys are willing to assist you carefully and competently, no matter the complexity of your situation. We are here to guide you through the conservatorship process with experience, knowledge, and compassion.
To schedule a consultation about a needed or ongoing conservatorship or guardianship, call 844-678-9750 or send an email inquiry.
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