Conservatorship and Guardianship

Conservatorship and Guardianship

Table of Contents

What is Conservatorship?

The term Conservator refers to a person appointed by the court who is responsible for managing the financial affairs of an incapacitated person. A conservatorship may be a total conservatorship, a limited conservatorship (when financial assistance is needed only for specific matters), or a temporary conservatorship.

The Court in the jurisdiction where the incapacitated person lives considers the Petition typically filed by the family member or friend of the incapacitated person. Virginia law requires that a medical or psychiatric expert have examined the person thought to be incapacitated and have stated in a written report to the Court that the subject is, in fact, incapacitated.

What Does it Mean to Be Incapacitated?

To be found incapacitated, the person must be incapable of receiving and evaluating information effectively to such an extent that he or she lacks the capacity to manage his or her property or financial affairs. Persons who routinely use poor judgment in making financial decisions are not considered incapacitated.

What is Guardianship?

The term Guardian refers to a person appointed by the Court who is responsible for managing the everyday life of person who is not capable of responding to people, events, or his or her environment and cannot meet the essential requirements for his or her health, care, or safety, The Guardian appointed by the Court is responsible for the personal affairs of an incapacitated person, including responsibility for making decisions regarding the person’s support, care, health, safety, habilitation, education and residence.

How To Be Appointed As a Guardian or Conservator

The court has great flexibility in determining what type of guardian and/or conservator to appoint. A guardian and/or conservator can be totally in charge of a person’s affairs, or the authority of the guardian and/or conservator can be limited to making specific decisions. Guardians and conservators may in some instances serve for an extended period. During that time, annual reporting to the Commissioner of Accounts or Court is required. Richard Boatwright of the Manassas Law Group can assist you and your family with issues related to potential Virginia Conservatorship and Guardianship proceedings.