Kennewick Guardian/Conservatorship Lawyers
There often comes a time in an elder’s life when they can no longer care for themselves. In these instances, there are many legal avenues one can take to ensure a senior citizen receives the care and support they need. A legal guardian or conservatorship are just two of these. Many people use these terms interchangeably but they are different from each other and it is important to know these differences. Below, our Kennewick guardian/conservatorship lawyer explains more.
The Differences Between Guardians and Conservators
Both guardians and conservators have the legal authority to make decisions for a person in the event they are ever unable to do so themselves. Guardians are appointed by the courts to help you make decisions about your self-care, safety, and healthcare. Conservators, on the other hand, are also appointed by the courts but they have the legal authority to make decisions about a person’s finances and property. A conservator or guardian can be different people, or they can be the same person.
The person who needs a guardian or conservator is known as the respondent. If someone has filed a legal petition to appoint a conservator or guardian for your needs, you are considered the respondent.
Appointing Guardians and Conservators
Again, anyone who has an interest in the potential respondent’s well-being can file a petition for the court to appoint a guardian or conservator. When the court makes their decision, they will consider many things including:
- Are you able to meet your critical needs for safety, physical health, and self-care?
- Do you need a conservator or guardian to prevent harm to yourself?
- Is a guardian or conservator necessary, or can your needs be met with an alternative, such as a protective arrangement?
The court will also appoint an individual known as the court visitor. The role of the court visitor is to investigate the facts of a case and recommend whether a person needs a conservator or guardian. The court visitor will conduct interviews with the potential respondent, as well as their medical providers and any potential conservator or guardian that will be named. Orders for a professional evaluation by a psychologist, physician, or nurse practitioner will also be ordered by the court.
What Can a Guardian or Conservator Do, and Not Do?
Guardians and conservators must act in the best interests of the respondent. They must regularly file reports and plans with the court regularly to ensure the court remains informed about how they are performing their duties. Guardians cannot make the decision to place a respondent in a nursing home against their will, nor can they obtain a court order to have you committed to a psychiatric hospital to receive treatments involving electric shock or restraint.
Call Our Guardian/Conservatorship Lawyer in Kennewick for Sound Legal Advice
If you need to obtain guardianship or conservatorship for an individual no longer able to care for themselves, or you need to challenge a petition, you need sound legal advice. At Moulton Law Offices, P.S., our Kennewick guardianship/conservatorship lawyer can provide it to ensure you and your loved ones are protected. Call us now at 1-509-328-2150, #9090 to book an appointment and to get more information.