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Guardianships & Conservatorships


Adult guardianships are the process by which the court declares a person incapacitated to the extent they are unable to make their own decisions regarding medical care and placement and thereby appoints an individual to act in their stead. Conservatorships are formed whenever the court declares a person unable to handle their own assets. If a guardianship is granted, a conservatorship will also typically be granted. If the person being declared incapacitated has assets, the court will monitor the appointed conservator and will require annual reports regarding the use of the assets by the conservator to be filed by an attorney.

In order for a guardianship or conservatorship to be set aside, the incapacitated person must petition the court to have their legal rights restored and must demonstrate that they are no longer in need of a guardian or conservator.

As with the case for relatives with special needs, this process typically runs most smoothly if it is initiated three months before the relative turns 18. This will allow enough time for the relative’s physician or psychiatrist to complete the necessary paperwork that must be filed with the court. The physician or psychiatrist must recommend that they are in need of a guardian and unable to make the necessary daily decisions to function without a guardian. If a physician or psychiatrist does not feel that a complete guardianship is necessary, then executing a power of attorney can be an appropriate option.


Minor guardianships are the process by which the court appoints an individual to take care of the needs of a person under the age of 18. The guardian will be able to make important decisions for the minor, such as where the minor lives, goes to school, and medical care. The Probate Court will work with the Family Court to appoint guardians for persons under the age of 18.

Conservatorships are formed whenever the minor has his or her own assets. The conservator will be able to make financial decisions for the minor and is held accountable to the Probate Court.


Guardianships & Conservatorships Attorneys

Tabitha L. Atwell

© Danna McKitrick, P.C. Attorneys at Law



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