Conservatorships in Tennessee
A Conservatorship in Tennessee is where someone files a petition with the Court to become appointed to make the medical and or financial decisions for someone who is disabled or incapacitated. In Tennessee, a person appointed by the Court to make the decisions is called the Conservator and the person for whom the decisions are being made is often referred to as the Respondent. A person can be appointed as the Conservator of the person, meaning they make personal and medical decisions. They can also be appointed to be the Conservator of the property, meaning they are responsible for the Respondent's financial decisions, from paying bills to defending lawsuits.
Under what types of situations are Conservatorships helpful?
If you have a loved one that has become incapacitated, is no longer able to manage their affairs, has no power of attorney and no longer has the decision-making capacity to sign a power of attorney, Conservatorships are very helpful in protecting your loved one. One of the most frequent situations is where a parent develops alzheimer's disease or dementia, does not have a power of attorney, and they become too ill to manage their finances and or make their medical decisions. A concerned child, family member or friend notices that their significant other is unable to care for themselves and in order to be able to assist them, seeks the assistance of an elder law attorney to assist them in becoming Conservator.
Can I become Conservator for my special needs child turning 18?
Experienced Conservatorship Attorney Meredith Silva is pleased to help parents of children with special needs (such as children with autism) who are turning 18 get a conservatorship for their child so that the parents may continue to help and support their child and apply for public benefits. Meredith Silva offers discounted rates for these families seeking a Conservatorship.
Is the process for getting a Conservator for my special needs child different?
Courts will often forego the appointment of a Guardian ad Litem or Attorney ad Litem upon request by parents seeking to be the Conservator. Also, if the child has no assets as is often the case, the Court will also usually waive the requirements of bond and accountings.
How does a Conservator get appointed?
Any interested party desiring to become a Conservator must file a petition for Conservatorship with the Court. The petition must include a sworn statement by a physician who has evaluated the disabled person which states that the person is in need of a Conservator. The Court will appoint a Guardian ad Litem to investigate the facts of the case and to make a recommendation to the Court as to whether the person needs a Conservator, and whether the person petitioning to become the Conservator is the appropriate party. The Court may also appoint an Attorney ad Litem to represent the interests of the Respondent. The Court does this in all cases where the Respondent objects to the appointment of a Conservator. Conservatorships can be contested by other parties as well. For example, sometimes other family members believe they should be the Conservator. A Court hearing is set to determine whether the Respondent needs the protection of the Conservatorship and if so, whether the petitioner is the appropriate party to become the Conservator. Ultimately, the Court makes the decision as to whether a Conservatorship is needed, who the Conservator should be, and which rights and powers are removed from the Respondent and placed in the hands of the Conservator.
What are the requirements of the Conservator?
As Conservator, you are held to the standard of a fiduciary and must protect the disabled person's interest. The Court may require you to secure a bond to protect the disabled person's assets, may require an inventory of the disabled person's assets and may require annual accountings and annual reports.
What powers and authority are given to the Conservator?
The Court has the ability to grant broad powers to the Conservator in cases where the disabled person's disabilities are severe. In other cases, the Court may limit the conservatorship and only grant the Conservator specific powers and rights that are necessary to protect the disabled person. Examples of rights and powers often removed from the disabled person and given to the conservator are:
1) the right to make medical decisions
2) the right to consent or withhold consent to any residential or custodial placement
3) the right to apply for public or private benefits
4) the right to enter into a contract or defend lawsuits
5) the right to make purchases or pay bills
6) the right to determine whether the disabled person may drive
What if I have a family member or a friend that has become disabled and needs a Conservatorship?
Silva Law has a strong background in Conservatorship law and will assist you through the legal process of obtaining a Conservatorship for your loved one. With compassion and care, Meredith Silva will explain the benefits of a conservatorship, the obligations of the conservator, prepare the necessary documentation for the Conservatorship and attend Court.
Why hire Silva Law as your Conservatorship attorney?
Meredith Silva has an extensive background in Conservatorship cases in various roles. She is frequently appointed by the courts as Conservator for those who do not have family to do so. Being a Conservator herself, she will, with patience and compassion, walk you through the process. Further, Meredith Silva is often appointed by the Court to serve as Guardian ad Litem and Attorney ad Litem in Conservatorship cases. Having served in all roles in the process, she has the experience to know what the Guardian ad Litem is looking for and what the Attorney ad Litem may argue in contested cases. Finally, many elder law attorneys do not have a litigation background. Meredith Silva has fifteen years of litigation experience to effectively advocate for your family in cases of contested Conservatorships. Call Silva Law, LLC today to speak to an experienced Conservatorship attorney.
For assistance with Conservatorship cases in Middle Tennessee, contact Nashville elder law attorney Meredith Silva via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
or call her at 615-258-5541.
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