You may hear about limited conservatorships frequently, but what exactly are they? Here are some of the most common questions answered for you.
What is a limited conservatorship?
A limited conservatorship gives a person – most often a parent or guardian – some specific decision-making abilities for a loved one with developmental disabilities when they are an adult.
How do they work?
As we have discussed in a previous blog post, a limited conservatorship would allow the conservator specific rights regarding decisions in the conservatee’s life. These include but are not limited to decisions regarding their:
- Medical treatment
- Financial matters, if there is an estate
- Living arrangements
It is critical to note that of the seven rights a potential conservator wishes to obtain, only a few may be granted. The courts will evaluate each and every category to determine if it is necessary and appropriate for the conservator to have decision-making power in that specific situation.
How do you start one?
Generally, a proposed conservator must:
- Pay the necessary fees, unless the court approves a waiver of said fees
- File the necessary pleadings
- Provide documents and evidence
- Attend the hearings
As we stated above, the court will consider many factors to determine whether or not to grant the limited conservatorship. Of course, the process is much more detailed. It is a good idea to seek legal guidance to learn the specific procedure of establishing a limited conservatorship.
What should potential conservatees know?
Conservatees have rights throughout this entire process. You have the right to have a legal representative, change the conservator and terminate a conservatorship if appropriate.
A limited conservatorship should be just that – limited. It should not hinder the conservatee or their independence.
When should you consider a limited conservatorship?
Parents or guardians who have a child with developmental disabilities should consider a limited conservatorship when their child nears the age of 18, or the age of becoming a legal adult. Your goal should be to protect their independence while still protecting them.
If you have more questions about limited conservatorships, it may help to seek legal counsel.