When individuals are found to be incapable of handling their own financial affairs, the court may appoint a conservator to supervise their financial matters. Since the conservatorship process frequently involves taking away the rights of an individual and because it places so much responsibility in the hands of a conservator, the court usually gives serious consideration to the matter before designating a conservator.
A Naperville conservatorship lawyer could assist in the process of naming a conservator or helping a conservator identify and fulfill legal duties. An attorney who understands the responsibilities and aspects of conservatorship could also review a situation to determine an alternative might better suit the needs of those involved.
Traditionally, a court would designate a guardian to make personal decisions for someone who was incapacitated and appoint a conservator to manage financial issues. Incapacity to act could be due to youth or to a medical or mental condition that renders a person unable to make or communicate sound personal or financial decisions. Revisions in state law now put a variety of duties into the hands of various types of guardians.
An estate guardian acts as a conservator, making financial decisions to serve the best interests of the person whom they serve. A Naperville conservatorship lawyer could ascertain whether a proposed conservator meets the legal requirements and assist in the process of obtaining court approval.
The legal process of becoming an estate guardian or conservator begins with filing a petition in court. Before the petition is filed, however, the petitioner needs to obtain a report from a doctor that certifies the need for a guardian on the basis of disability. Those who sign the report may also be required to testify to its veracity. The report should include an analysis of the person’s mental and physical condition and a description of the disability and how it impacts the person’s ability to make decisions.
The court favors limited guardianship if possible. In a limited guardianship, the individual retains power to make some decisions on their own behalf. A conservatorship lawyer in Naperville could help consider the potential for a limited guardianship which may be more likely to gain approval from the court.
Assistance from an experienced attorney is not required in the process of conservatorship, but it is recommended in many situations, particularly where a guardianship may be contested, or the property involved is complex. For instance, if the individual who is proposed for conservatorship owns a business, there would be many factors to consider regarding whether to grant conservatorship as well as to whom that power should be granted.
A knowledgeable attorney knows how to follow proper procedures and how to prepare a report with enough detail to satisfy a court. If the person against whom guardian proceedings are initiated protests the appointment of a guardian, a Naperville conservatorship lawyer could help with presentation of evidence and cross-examination during a hearing.
In the conservatorship process, it is necessary to prove both the need for a conservator and that the appointment of a petitioner is appropriate under the circumstances. Courts are often reluctant to grant conservatorship if they believe an alternative may achieve objectives.
A dedicated Naperville conservatorship lawyer could help explore available options and determine a strategy that could reach goals and satisfy court requirements. In addition, once a conservatorship is established, an attorney could assist with fulfilling conditions set by the court and by statutory law. For a consultation to learn more about how an attorney could assist in your situation, call now.