Guardianship is a legal arrangement that places an individual, known as a ward or protected person, under the supervision of a guardian. Conservatorship deals with the person’s money and property. Guardianship deals with a person’s body and health. The same person can hold both roles; but, they are separate functions.
Guardianship of Elderly Parent or a Minor
A guardian is typically a family member, friend or fiduciary appointed by the court. A protected person can be a minor with or without a parent or an adult who can no longer make sound decisions about one’s self or one’s finances. In matters involving a child, a guardian is sometimes appoint when the parent is still alive but is unable to provide shelter and basic needs, has no steady income, is ill or incarcerated. Unlike an adoption, under a guardianship, a parent may remain responsible for supporting the child financially and does not necessarily forfeit the parental rights. In most instances, parental approval of a guardianship is sought prior to any legal proceeding.
Guardianship of Elderly Parent
Conservatorship grants authority over the protected person’s financial matters such as paying bills, transferring funds between accounts, withdrawing monies, selling valuable and real estate, making investment decisions and redirecting inheritances to others. Guardianship also grants authority over the protected person’s driver license, residence, firearms and lawsuits.
Guardianship grants authority over the protected person’s personal well-being including making important life decisions such as marrying and voting. A guardian is normally tasked with determining and maintaining residence, providing consent to and supervising medical treatment, consenting to and supervising behavioral counseling and psychiatric treatment, maintaining the protected person’s autonomy, making end-of-life decisions and funeral arrangements.
Right to Due Process
To safeguard the protected person’s right to due process, he or she is usually provided with notice of a guardianship action and is entitled to attend legal proceedings related to guardianship. The protected person may obtain representation by an attorney, present evidence, confront those desiring the guardianship and cross-examine witnesses.
Reach Out to Us
Couples with children and children with elderly parents can protect their loved ones should something happens that causes temporary or permanent incapacity. The time to put legal plans in place is before something happens, when there is no crisis. And yet, sometimes we are forced to handle matters we never anticipated. Call us today at 205-663-0281 for a free consultation. John Holliman and Melanie Bradford will explain about conservatorship and guardianship to help you take care of your loved ones.
We treat you like family. Whether a guardianship or conservatorship, the ultimate goal is to protect your loved ones in a manner that is effective, legal and ethical. Contact us for a free consultation.
John Holliman and Melanie Bradford Holliman, Attorneys