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Virginia Conservatorship Lawyer

A conservator has the legal authority to manage the financial affairs of a person who is unable to do so as a result of their age or incapacity.  An incapacitated person may have a guardian in addition to a conservator. A guardian has the authority to make decisions involving health and welfare whereas a conservator’s power involves finances and property.

You may file a petition to become a guardian, conservator or both (see Virginia Code Section 64.2-2002). A conservatorship or guardianship may be limited, temporary or permanent depending on the specific needs of the incapacitated person.

An experienced attorney could help you establish a conservatorship for the protection of a loved one and represent you if you are the subject of a conservatorship proceeding you oppose. A Virginia conservatorship lawyer could assist you at every step of the court process.

Filing a Conservatorship Petition

A Virginia conservatorship lawyer could help you gather and prepare information to complete your conservatorship petition. The petition should ordinarily be filed with the circuit court in the jurisdiction where the alleged incapacitated person lives. The petition should include, among other items:

  • The names and addresses of both parties
  • The petitioner’s relationship to the alleged incapacitated person
  • Information about the alleged incapacitated person’s family
  • Names of any agents nominated under an existing power of attorney
  • Description of the alleged incapacitated person’s disability

The person filing the petition will often be appointed by the court to serve as conservator, however, this is not always the case. The decision of who will be appointed as conservator and whether a conservatorship is necessary is in the court’s discretion.

Who May Need a Conservator?

Conservatorship proceedings are typically initiated for persons who are minors, mentally or physically incapacitated, or elderly. A child under the age of 18 may need a conservator if their parents have passed away or are unable to make financial decisions for them.

If an adult over the age of 18 lacks the ability to make financial decisions for themselves, it may be necessary to have a conservator appointed to make these decisions. For example, elderly persons suffering from dementia may need the protection of a conservator. Licensed medical professionals will be involved in evaluating and diagnosing an allegedly incapacitated person.

Termination of a Conservatorship

A conservatorship will automatically terminate upon the death of the incapacitated person. Alternatively, it may end if the court makes a determination that a conservatorship is no longer needed because the incapacitated person has regained the ability to manage their finances. If the conservatorship is temporary, it will terminate upon the predetermined date. Speak with a Virginia conservatorship lawyer to learn more.

Avoiding a Conservatorship

A durable power of attorney is a legal document that allows an individual to appoint an agent and alternate agents to make financial decisions for them in the event they become incapacitated in the future. By executing a durable power of attorney while you have the capacity, you are able to choose who you would like to be in charge of your finances rather than relying on the court’s decision in a conservatorship case.

Speak with a Virginia Conservatorship Attorney Today

We understand that the conservatorship process can be costly and time-consuming. If you have any questions about the benefits and disadvantages of conservatorships in Virginia, please contact a knowledgeable. A Virginia conservatorship lawyer may be able to help you with your case.