A loved one has lost the ability to make critical life and financial decisions on their own. Because of this, they are in need of a guardianship or conservatorship. How does one take the proper steps to assure that a conservator or guardian is appointed? Darren Findling of The Probate Pro will go over the process, but first, let’s distinguish what guardianships and conservatorships are.

A guardianship is when someone is appointed to serve on an individual’s best interests when it comes to critical life decisions. This includes decisions such as what medicine an individual should be taking, choosing where they live and possibly what accommodations they might need, just to name a few things. A conservatorship is when someone is appointed to serve an individual’s best interests when it comes to financial decisions. This could mean managing the payments that need to be made, as well as managing bank accounts.

Despite the differences between a guardianship and conservatorship, they both follow the same process in filing a petition. Darren Findling of The Probate Pro explains the process for both conservatorships and guardianships.

As mentioned before, you will need to obtain a physician’s letter which states and confirms the individual’s need for a guardian or conservator. Once that is accomplished, you will need to file a petition for guardian or conservator. If you need to fill out a petition, follow this link to print your own blank form.

After that, you’ll need to serve notice of hearing on petition to individuals with vested interests in the individual (usually family members). Once this is done, you’ll need to communicate with the guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem is a guardian appointed by the court. The duty of the guardian ad litem is to watch after the individual of special interest. Of course, you’ll want to be at the probate court for the hearing on the petitions. Once the guardianship or conservatorship is approved, the letter of authority is issued, which bestows full or limited power upon the appointed individual. The limitations vary by case. As a conservator, you will need to follow up with turning in an asset inventory, which accounts for all of the individual’s estate assets and what their values are. After that, the next step, which is repeated annually, is to provide a report on the condition of the individual.

If you have more questions regarding petition of guardianship and conservatorship, give The Probate Pro a call today at (877) YOUR-FIRM.