What is the Process for a Conservatorship
Hi my name is Curt Runger and I’m an attorney in Memphis, Tennessee and I help give my clients peace of mind by navigating them through various probate processes. So we’ve already know that a conservatorship is essentially a legally supervised guardianship for adults, whereby a court actually removes the ability of someone who’s incapacitated to make decisions for themselves, or to be in control of their finances and puts that power invest that power into a family member, so I wanted to talk briefly about what exactly the process of establishing a conservatorship looks like because that’s a big deal. It’s a very big deal when you’re talking about actually petitioning a court to remove a loved one’s rights. I mean no one wants to be in that position. However, unfortunately, it happens and when it happens, you need to know on the front end sort of what the process looks like so. Obviously, the first thing is you have to find an attorney who handles conservatorships. And typically, the people who come to us are family members who have a loved one who are in need of a conservatorship whether it’s because they’re of advanced age and have dementia, or they are disabled and they’re young adults, or maybe they have a substance abuse issue, what have you, they come to us and the first thing that we do is we get all the information about the respondent who is the person who’s going to be under the conservatorship. So we get all their information and biographical information. We get their medical history, if it’s going to be a conservatorship over the estate in other words if it’s going to be involving management of the respondents assets and finances we get information about what sort of assets that respondent has, we get the relevant information of all of the family members and relatives to include in the petition in order to give them notice of the conservatorship hearing, and we put together a petition now one major thing that has to be addressed in every single conservatorship is in Tennessee law reports, it says that a physician a treating physician needs to have examined, a respondent within 90 days of the date of filing a conservatorship petition so we actually need to reach out to these physicians and get them to complete an affidavit basically stating their opinion that, yes, this respondent is in need of a conservator for managing their affairs and then of course the physician’s affidavit contains information about what exactly the medical condition is, necessitating the conservatorship, so we get all this information together on the front end and we file this petition in court, the respondent or the individual who is going to be in need of a conservatory is actually physically served with a copy of the petition to establish conservatorship at the point in time when we actually file this petition. Typically, the probate court judge will appoint what’s called a guardian ad litem, who is an attorney who is being appointed as a neutral party to undertake an investigation to meet with the respondent, and to meet with the other interested parties in the conservatorship proceeding, and to basically come up with a report and report back to the court and say whether or not a conservatorship is in the best interest of the respondent and whether or not it’s warranted. That in a nutshell, is kind of the process, obviously, there is ultimately a final hearing on the conservatorship matter where the judge will hear all of the proof and determine whether or not a conservatorship is warranted. And if warranted. You know who’s actually going to be the conservator. Is it just going to be a conservatorship over the person or is it also going to be of this state, and so on and so forth so I mean there’s that’s essentially the Cliff’s notes version of it, okay there’s obviously different intricacies and complexities amongst. Every case is a little bit different. But, In a nutshell, that is what is entailed in a conservatorship proceeding if you have any questions about conservatorships, or think that one may be right for a loved one or family member, please give me a call.
If you have any further questions do not hesitate to call Curt or his team at Douglass and Runger, PLLC at (901) 388-5805 relating to other questions about conservatorships.