Having a Northern Virginia lawyer draft a durable power of attorney is a critical way to protect yourself and your family when you are not deemed competent to make your own decisions. If steps have not been taken to appoint an agent, a guardianship and conservatorship will be necessary for your family to make decisions on your behalf, and to manage your finances.
At the Law Office of Alfredo Vasquez, our guardianship and conservatorship attorney in Washington, DC and Northern Virginia will assist family members of incapacitated adults obtain a guardianship and/or conservatorship over a loved one. We will carefully walk you through important legal implications so that you can properly protect your elder family members.
Contact us online or at 202-525-7710 for a consultation to learn more about estate planning, guardianships and conservatorships.
What Constitutes a Guardianship or Conservatorship in Northern Virginia or Washington, DC?
Conservatorship is a process a court uses to grant someone (the conservator) legal authority to make decisions on behalf of another person (the conservatee) regarding finances and financial matters. A guardianship is a similar court determination regarding personal decisions, such as health care.
When Do I Need a Guardianship or Conservatorship?
Both guardianships and conservatorships may be needed when an adult, typically an elderly person, has been deemed to be incompetent to manage her finances or health due to deteriorated mental capacity or impairment caused by an illness or injury.
falls into a coma due to an injury or illness
develops a neurological disease, like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or dementia
suffers from a physical trauma––like a head injury, a fall, or a stroke––that impairs their ability to think or express their wishes
suffers from any other type of mental or physical incapacitation, even if for a short period
Children with mental disabilities will also require the appointment of a guardian and conservator upon turning eighteen. Our Northern Virginia attorney will advise parents of disabled children on how to obtain guardianship of their disabled children.
If your loved one has not executed a power of attorney, you will need a guardianship and conservatorship order from a Virginia court in order to access your loved one's medical records, apply for public benefits, access bank accounts, or handle legal matters.
Serving as legal guardian or conservator of an elderly adult requires a great deal of work. Court will require the guardian and conservators to file periodic reports and accountings. At the Law Office of Alfredo Vasquez, our Northern Virginia lawyer will help you navigate through the process before, during, and after you file a petition to be appointed guardian or conservator of you elderly family member.
What Are the Benefits of Guardianships and Conservatorships?
Protection for vulnerable individuals: Conservatorships can provide protection for individuals who are unable to manage their own affairs due to physical or mental incapacity, such as the elderly, disabled, or those with serious mental illnesses.
Access to medical care: A guardian can make medical decisions on behalf of the individual, ensuring that they receive proper medical care and treatment, including applying for long-term care and public benefits.
Financial management: A conservator can manage the individual's financial affairs, pay bills, and protect their assets from financial exploitation or mismanagement.
Legal authority: A guardian or conservator has legal authority to make decisions on behalf of the individual, which can provide clarity and consistency in decision-making.
Contact an Estate Planning Attorney to Understand Guardianships and Conservatorships in Northern Virginia and Washington, DC
Guardianships and conservatorships are essential tools to manage the last years of life of loved family members, with significant implications for the incapacitated adult's rights and autonomy. Speaking to an attorney to determine what makes sense in your unique situation is critical. At the Law Office of Alfredo Vasquez, our estate planning attorney will address your concerns and guide you through the process. Contact us online or at 202-525-7710 to schedule a consultation.