Wytheville Guardianship & Conservatorship
Who Needs a Guardianship and Conservatorship?
If an elderly, disabled, or vulnerable person cannot manage their own affairs, guardianship or conservatorship may be necessary. Essentially, guardianship/conservatorship is a legal process whereby a trustworthy and reliable person is given the powers needed to allow them to effectively care for their loved ones. Technically, guardianships and conservatorships are different things. A guardian is a person who is responsible for making important, non-financial personal decisions. In contrast, a conservator is a person in charge of financial decision-making. That being said, often, the same trusted representative will serve both as a guardian and a conservator. Though, if desired or appropriate, these legal powers can be separated. Of course, guardianships and conservatorships are not put into place lightly. Virginia courts require a strong, well-supported petition to prove that guardianship is both necessary and in the best interests of the ward. After all, by definition, guardianship does result in the transfer of a person’s legal rights to another party. In Virginia, a guardian/conservator may be appointed if an elderly or vulnerable person is deemed to be incapacitated for the purposes of state law.
An Overview of the Process to Obtain a Guardianship or Conservatorship in Virginia
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, every person has the right to file a petition to get a guardianship and/or conservatorship put in place for an incapacitated person. You do not need to be an immediate family member or a blood relative to submit such a legal petition. However, there are very tight residency rules that govern where a claim must be filed. Specifically, you must file a guardianship petition in the local jurisdiction (city or county) where the vulnerable person resides. If they are not a resident of Virginia, then the petition cannot be filed in the Commonwealth.
Establishing Incapacity Under Virginia Law
When a guardianship & conservatorship petition is filed, a Virginia court must determine if the elderly or disabled person in question is legally incapacitated. In general, medical experts will be brought in to help resolve this matter. In assessing a person’s capacity or lack thereof, a Virginia court will consider a vulnerable person’s:
- Ability to receive and assess information;
- Response to their immediate environment; and
- Ability to care for their own health and safety.
Preparing and filing a petition for guardianship and conservatorship is complicated. You do not want to make mistakes that could prevent you from getting access to the legal authority required to protect your loved one. Do not go it alone. An experienced Virginia attorney can help craft an effective petition and guide you through the process.
How Our Wytheville, VA Guardianship & Conservatorship Lawyers Can Help
Guardianship and conservatorship cases are complicated. They must be handled with the utmost level of care, sensitivity, and diligence. At The Jackson Law Group, we are committed to providing compassionate, effective representation to individuals and families in Southwest Virginia. Our Wytheville guardianship & conservatorship attorneys will help you take action to protect the health and well-being of your vulnerable loved one. Among other things, our legal team will: Conduct a free, comprehensive review of your case; Answer questions and explain the guardianship process; File a guardianship/conservatorship petition in Virginia court; and Represent you and your family during all legal hearings. We have extensive experience drafting powers of attorney for our clients and representing them in guardianship/conservatorship cases—including cases where there are still outstanding questions about capacity or other types of disputes. We will make sure that your rights and your loved one’s safety are fully protected.
Call Our Wytheville Guardianship Attorneys for Immediate Assistance
At The Jackson Law Group, our Virginia guardianship & conservatorship lawyers are compassionate and attentive advocates for individuals and families. If you have questions about guardianships, we are here to help. To schedule a free, completely confidential initial consultation, please contact our law firm today by calling 276-228-2323. From our office in Wytheville, we serve clients throughout Wythe County. Let us protect your rights. CONTACT OUR FIRM
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