Guardianships and Conservatorships

Legal rights are designed to be immutable and non-transferable. These rights include the ability to sell your property or sign a binding contract. In some cases, for example when dealing with children, the elderly or the mentally handicapped, the people involved are in a diminished capacity to execute those rights. A guardianship or conservatorship is appointed in such cases so that a trusted third party can exercise the legal rights of the dependent. The trusted third parties in such cases are known as guardians or conservators.

Guardians and conservators are more common than most people think. If you need any information in how dealing with a trusted third-party rather than the dependent directly affects the legal outcome of your case, or if you would like to appoint a guardian on behalf of a loved one or friend then feel free to call the Law Offices of J. Scott Bennett and we’ll take you through everything that you need to know about guardianships and conservatorships and how they will affect your case. The first thing that we help our clients understand is when a guardianship or conservatorship is needed.

When is a Conservatorship or Guardianship Needed

The court will only appoint a guardian or conservator when a person is incapacitated and cannot manage their own affairs. In legal terms, incapacitated means that the person involved is not able to make sound legal decisions or provide for his/her own food, care, and shelter. Only a court can decide that a person is incapacitated.
Courts are very specific about whether they will consider a person as incapacitated or not which is where we at the Law Offices of J. Scott Bennett come in. We will guide you through the necessary legal procedures to help you present your case in court and provide the necessary documents to prove that a transfer of legal rights is necessary.

The Difference Between a Guardianship and a Conservatorship

When the courts sign over a person’s legal rights they aim to be as conservative as possible. The person that they are signing the legal rights over to will be in a position of great power over the protected or warded person, therefore, they will offer the title of ward or conservator to represent how limited the transfer of legal rights is.
A guardianship is usually given to a person who is responsible for the personal well-being of the ward. This is in the case of a child who must be cared for, or for a person who is bed-ridden and requires round-the-clock care. A conservatorship is awarded when a person’s financial affairs and the estate must be cared for by someone else. In such a case the person is known as a conservator.
If you are looking to transfer legal rights then you must know which one of the two you are aiming for. This is the only way to ensure that you get the outcome that you desire. Contact the Law Offices of J. Scott Bennett at 951-434-1151 so that we can analyze your case, decide on whether you need a conservatorship or a guardianship and help you set up the proper documents to present your case in court.
The court prefers not to transfer such legal rights unless they are certain that there is no better option. Before proceeding with your case, we will go over other more limited options such as signing over power of attorney, implementing a health care directive or getting a case manager. A conservatorship of guardianship can only be awarded by the courts once we have proven that these other measures will not suit your particular case.