Guardianship & Conservatorships

Guardianship & Conservatorship

When a loved one faces capacity issues and is no longer able to make financial and/or medical decision for him or herself, you may find yourself considering guardianship or conservatorship.  Indeed, if your loved one did not execute power of attorneys that designate agents to act in the event of incapacity, your only choice may be a guardianship and/or conservatorship.  Virginia law created two roles for the management of the affairs of an incapacitated adult: the guardian, who is responsible for personal and health decisions, and the conservator, who is responsible for property.

Guardianship & Conservatorship:

Guardianship and conservatorship is a legal action brought before the local Circuit Court having jurisdiction over the incapacitated adult.  Jurisdiction is generally in the Circuit Court where the incapacitated person resides, is located, or lived immediately prior to entering a medical facility.  Anyone may file a proceeding for the appointment of a guardian and conservator.  A Guardian ad Litem is appointed in every case to represent, protect, and defend the interests of the incapacitated adult.  After all of the statutory requirements have been met, the Court will hold a hearing to determine whether the affected individual is incapacitated and, if so, appointing a guardian and/or conservator to act in their stead.

As with any other legal action, guardianship and conservatorship proceedings are complicated, involve attorney fees, court costs, and prolonged court supervision.   Working with an attorney who routinely handles guardianship and conservatorship cases is essential to ensuring a smooth process and appropriate outcome.