It is never easy to see a loved one get older. As family members age, they are sometimes incapable of taking care of themselves and their personal affairs. Fortunately, it is possible to take legal action that protects their interests. Two options include setting up a conservatorship or guardianship. Both of these can be complex processes. A conservatorship and guardianship attorney at Beth Santilli Law in Mt. Pleasant, SC can walk you through the options available for your specific situation and assist you with petitioning the court.
What is a Conservatorship?
A conservatorship is a legal arrangement that allows one person to control the property of another individual, also known as a protected person or a ward. This can be for an incapacitated person or a minor. Once an estate or other property is placed into a conservatorship, the person in control of that property is known as the conservator. Conservators have the authority to:
– Organize, gather, and protect assets
– Arrange appraisals for property
– Safeguard assets from loss when possible
– Manage income from assets
– Make appropriate payments
– Obtain court approval before any major assets are sold
– Report the estate’s status to the court regularly
Conservatorships are intended to protect the ward or protected person until the individual regains the capacity to manage their own affairs.
What is a Guardianship?
Unlike conservators that typically only manage a person’s estate and financial affairs, a guardianship can make many different types of decisions for an incapacitated person or a minor, including the medical treatment they receive. A guardian cannot make any decisions regarding a person’s finances or their estate. Legal guardians have the responsibility of preserving and protecting the health and quality of life of an incapacitated person.
South Carolina law defines an ‘incapacitated person’ as someone who does not have sufficient mental capacity due to a mental deficiency, mental illness, disability or physical illness, advanced age, or chronic use of substances such as alcohol or drugs.
Like conservators, only the court can appoint a conservator or guardian for another person. Before the court will appoint a conservator or guardian; however, they must receive clear and convincing evidence that shows the protected person or ward is incapacitated or a minor.
Get Legal Help Today
Conservatorships and guardianships are sometimes necessary when a person has become incapacitated or is a minor. However, the courts take the responsibility of appointing conservators and guardians very seriously. If you need to petition the court to grant either of these legal powers, call our Mt. Pleasant, SC conservatorship and guardianship attorneys today.
At Beth Santilli Law, LLC, our knowledgeable attorneys will guide you through the process, assist with collecting any evidence that will help your case, and give you the best chance of a favorable outcome. Contact us today to schedule a meeting and to learn more about how we can help.