If family members feel that you are no longer able to care for yourself, they may petition the court to appoint a guardian – typically called a conservator – to look out for your best interests. If the court grants this petition, the conservator would then be responsible for making personal and financial decisions on your behalf.
You can however, object to the appointment and there are some rights you retain even after a conservator has been appointed:
- being present during the hearing if desired
- appointing an attorney of choice even if he or she cannot afford the attorney’s fees
- request the Court to appoint an attorney even if the senior person cannot pay the fee
- prevent personal physician and other people from testifying against the senior person
- have an independent evaluation of his physical and mental condition
What if a Conservator is not doing his job properly?
If you feel that the Conservator is not representing your best interests, you can ask the Judge to change your Conservator – an attorney can help you with this process.
How is a conservatorship terminated?
If you can prove that you no longer need a conservator, you can petition the court to limit the scope of the conservatorship or even terminate it completely. Again, a qualified elder law attorney would be able to advice you during this process.