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Eligibility for a conservatorship

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Estate Planning - Guardianships & Conservatorships

A conservatorship is a legal arrangement in which a court appoints an individual or organization to manage the affairs of someone who cannot do so themselves.

Individuals who meet these criteria and demonstrate an incapability to manage their affairs effectively without causing harm to themselves may benefit from being placed under a conservatorship. If you have a loved one with special needs, it is important to understand what conditions could cause them to be eligible for a conservatorship.

Cognitive impairments or disabilities

Individuals with severe cognitive impairments often cannot make informed decisions. This places their personal care and/or finances in danger. Examples of this include dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Leaving your loved one in charge of important fairs could cause them harm.

Severe mental illness

Individuals whose psychiatric conditions significantly impair their judgment or decision-making ability may be at risk of neglect or financial exploitation. Unscrupulous friends or associates could lead your loved one astray. Individuals who suffer from disorders that cause episodes of psychosis, which make them lose touch with reality, may make poor decisions or harm themselves due to delusions or hallucinations they suffer from. Examples include bipolar disorder or schizophrenia.

Physical incapacitation

Some conditions can prevent someone from moving independently. Examples of this are advanced multiple sclerosis, severe paralysis, or significant mobility issues. This can leave them unable to secure food, hygiene, or other daily needs.

With a conservatorship, the goal is to provide the least invasive form of assistance while ensuring an individual’s well-being. Courts closely supervise conservators to ensure they act in the best interest of the person under their care. They want to maintain their dignity and rights while providing the necessary protection.