Conservatorships

Your family member is suffering from progressive dementia, or has recently had a stroke. Health care workers are refusing to discuss matters with you for "privacy" reasons. No one seems to be in a position to make important decisions. Property needs to be managed and protected. Documents need to be signed and bank accounts accessed. You need to arrange for a more appropriate living situation or facility, and secure appropriate care. How do you manage the affairs of someone no longer able to do this for themselves?

 

What are the Alternatives to a Conservatorship?

TURNING AGE 18 AND BECOMING AN ADULT DOES NOT AUTOMATICALLY MEAN THAT EVERY INDIVIDUAL WITH A DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITY WILL NEED A CONSERVATORSHIP.

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Sometimes, if your child or family member with disability has sufficient independence and life-skills, a limited conservatorship may not be necessary. They might, however, still welcome and benefit from your assistance. Assuming they have sufficient understanding, and the capacity to cooperate with an attorney, they can draft legal documents to assure you remain involved in their lives. Financial and health care powers of attorney and living trusts are but a few of the tools that can give family members the legal authority to actand provide needed assistance, without having to argue with banks, schools and medical providers about your right to be involved. Whether or not such documents would be adequate depends on the particular situation, the cooperativeness of the individual with the disability, and again, their legal capacity to create such documents. We would be pleased to help you decide if any such alternatives make sense in your situation, and discuss methods of accomplishing this.

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