A Guardianship is a legal proceeding appointing a guardian when a person is adjudged incapacitated or in need of care. Guardianships are one of two types: a guardianship for a minor or a guardianship for an adult.

Guardians for adults are necessary when an adult is unable to manage his or her personal affairs. This may happen when a child with special needs such as severe autism, mental retardation, or severe mental illness, not controlled with medication, attains the age of 18, or when an adult has a medical condition that renders him or her unable to manage their affairs. Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease often necessitates the appointment of a guardian.

The question that will be addressed by the court, and which will determine whether a guardian is appointed is: whether the proposed ward lacks capacity to meet essential requirements for food, clothing, shelter, safety or other care such that serious physical injury, illness, or disease is likely to occur absent the appointment of a guardian?

In the case of an adult ward, it is necessary to have medical evidence: either a letter from a doctor stating the need for a guardian, a doctor’s deposition or having a doctor present to testify as to the need for a guardian.

As part of the guardianship proceeding, a lawyer will be appointed to represent the proposed ward. The ward will have the right to contest the proceeding and to request a jury trial.

Guardians And Conservators

A limited guardian is a person appointed by the court to make educational or medical decisions for a minor. Oftentimes, a guardian is appointed for the purpose of school enrollment.

Dean Law Office is experienced in guardianship law. Call Margaret Dean at 816-753-3100 for more information on guardianships.

A Conservatorship is a legal proceeding filed to protect the property of an impaired person or a person with special needs. The person who needs a conservator is called a protectee. Generally, when an individual is appointed as guardian for another individual they are also appointed the conservator for that individual.

A conservators may also be necessary, when a minor settles a personal injury case, is awarded workers’ compensation benefits or receives an inheritance.

Before the court will issue you Letters of Conservatorship, you must be bonded unless the court waives the bond. A bond is similar to an insurance policy and is intended to protect the protectee’s property should the conservator mismanage the estate. If appointed, you will be required to file an inventory and annual accountings with the court. Whether a proposed conservator can obtain a bond, is generally based on whether that person has a good credit history. Thus, if the proposed conservator has a history of credit problems, it is unlikely a bond can be obtained.

The question that will be addressed by the court in deciding whether to appoint a conservator is: does the proposed protectee lack the ability to manage financial resources or is the person a minor?

The evidence presented to the court in the case of a guardianship or conservators must be clear and convincing evidence.

Dean Law Office is experienced in conservatorship law. Call Margaret Dean at 816-753-3100 for more information on conservatorships or email attorneyA@aol.com