In cases where a person is no longer able to take care of themselves, the courts will place that responsibility in the hands of a conservator. A conservator has court-ordered authority and legal responsibility to take care of that person’s finances and healthcare. In some cases, a conservator is also known as an adult guardian, as essentially the two terms are interchangeable.
A conservator is appointed only in cases where no advanced estate planning has been done and the incapacitated person has not already signed a durable power of attorney document. The durable power of attorney means that the individual named in the paperwork is now responsible and will take charge of the incapacitated person’s affairs.
When no preplanning has been done and a person does become incapacitated, family members must ask a court to appoint a conservator to represent his or her interests. Family members should be aware that the duties of a conservator can be complicated and time-consuming, and it is not uncommon to seek legal help to assit in navigating through a myriad of potential issues.
For many years, Attorney David Stimpson has been counseling and actively assisting families with these complex issues in his role as a conservatorship attorney.
As a highly-qualified conservatorship attorney, Attorney Stimpson advises conservators on the types of records that need to be kept, various court hearings that must be attended, and other lawful duties that must be documented to meet expected legal standards.
Because a conservator’s duties are subject to court supervision, Attorney Stimpson’s guidance brings an added level of protection for people in that role. He often works closely with conservators who must appear in court to gain approval from a judge before any major decisions are made regarding an incapacitated person’s assets. This can involve issues such as disposing of real estate, making long-term care decisions, and in some cases, determining whether or not to end life support measures.
As an added benefit in assisting conservators, because all court documents and proceedings are a matter of public record, the possibility exists that a certain level of public attention may come to bear on a conservator or the incapacitated person and their assets. In instances such as this, Attorney Stimpson can help shield a conservator and family members who value their privacy.
Assisting conservators can be a long term proposition, and the steady hand of an experienced attorney is a valuable asset that can protect an estate’s financial health and help to minimize the emotional toll that this kind of responsibility can bring in many cases.
Stimpson & Associates serves clients in Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County and surrounding Michigan communities.