June 19, 2024

It’s painful for you to watch a loved one hurt themselves day after day through bad decisions. You notice that this isn’t poor judgment. They have lost the ability to make responsible choices. When a loved one no longer can make responsible choices, someone needs to step in. You may be asking yourself, “does a guardianship attorney orlando fl need to get involved?”

You may be asking yourself, “does a lawyer need to get involved?”

In situations like the one described above; the answer is yes. It might be time to consider a legal guardianship or conservatorship. If this is all new for you, read on to understand what it means to start a conservatorship or guardianship.

What are Conservatorships and Guardianships?

Conservatorships are legal orders that grant one person power over another person. Conservatorships and guardianships are legal in every state of the US.

Yet, laws differ by state. In California, there are two types of legal conservatorships: Lanterman–Petris–Short conservatorships and probate conservatorships.

In most states, guardianship and conservatorship are one and the same. However, there can be a difference between a conservatorship and a legal guardianship depending on your state.

In this case, guardians typically make health and personal decisions on the behalf of the person. Conservators, on the other hand, also make financial decisions regarding banks accounts and other assets.

Different Degrees of Conservatorship

There are various types of Conservatorships, ranging in different timeframes and control:

General

A general conservatorship allows a person to fully control the financial and personal matters of another person. This is usually for elderly persons with dementia or another cognitive impairment.

Limited

A limited conservatorship grants someone partial control over another’s financial and personal matters. This arrangement is best for adults with autism, down syndrome, or other special needs.

Temporary

A temporary conservatorship allows a person emergency control financial and personal matters. This is enacted in response to the conservatee being suddenly incapacitated by a medical issue.

No matter the type, you will need to hire a conservatorship or guardianship lawyer. Then, you can start the legal process.

What Is the Process Like?

First, someone needs to file a petition to gain conservatorship or guardianship. To do so, a conservatorship attorney is needed.

From there, the court will determine the prospective conservatee’s mental capacity. If proven that they are incapable of making responsible decisions and in need of help, then the court will grant conservatorship.

Signs of Abuse in a Conservatorship

Unfortunately, those in conservatorships can be subject to both emotional and financial abuse from their guardians. If someone is starting a conservatorship with any of your loved ones, make sure that it is in the best interest of the conservatee. Do they need someone to make decisions on their behalf to avoid harm?

Another few red flags would include:

  • The conservator hiding the conservatee from other loved ones
  • Spontaneous change of will and estate plans
  • Loss of the conservatee’s financial assets without explanation

How to Contest or End a Conservatorship

If you or someone you know is in a unjustified conservatorship, know that conservatorships can end. Conservatees still have rights. Nonetheless, they will need to hire a conservatorship attorney to contest the legal order.

Weighing Your Options and Beginning the Process

Now that you are starting to understand guardianships and conservatorships and what they entail, you can now fully consider if that’s the step you want to take with your loved one.

For more answers to your legal questions, check out any of our other blog posts.