Canton Conservatorship Lawyer
The Law Office of Brian S. Karpe, LLC offers help to Hartford area families seeking to establish a conservatorship over a relative or loved one who is no longer able to care for themselves without help. Contact Canton conservatorship lawyer Brian S. Karpe to receive a free consultation on your legal questions surrounding conservatorships in Connecticut.
Families should be on the watch for a decline in mental capacity in elderly members
Not every one of an advanced age suffers losses to their mental capacity or ability to make sound financial decisions. Some individuals can continue to manage their own accounts long into their eighties and nineties. Unfortunately, a loss of mental acuity is not uncommon and often happens gradually enough that friends and loved ones might not notice until it’s too late. Medical issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease affect a substantial portion of those over 80. This means that many Connecticut families should be prepared to intervene should a loved one no longer be able to care for themselves without help.
What is a conservatorship?
A conservatorship is a process by which a Probate Court-appointed representative (i.e., the conservator) is given the ability to make financial or personal decisions on behalf of an individual who has been deemed unable to make those decisions safely. Once granted, a conservatorship will allow the conservator to intervene to handle decisions regarding fiscal decisions, personal care, or both, depending on the individual’s needs.
The types of conservatorships under Connecticut law
When establishing a conservatorship, the Connecticut Probate Court judge will make an effort to impose a conservatorship that is the least restrictive means of intervening to protect the individual from causing themselves additional physical or financial harm. Judges have the ability to appoint individuals to serve as a conservator of the person or conservator of the estate. A conservator of the person will be charged with ensuring the provision of basic personal needs, such as medical care, shelter, and food. A conservator of the estate will oversee the individual’s financial matters and exert control over how the individual can spend money or otherwise distribute their assets. In some cases, an individual will need both types of conservatorships, and one person will be appointed to each role, or the court will designate one person to act as both a conservator of the person and the estate.
What is the process for establishing a conservatorship?
Conservatorships may be either voluntary or involuntary. In the event of a voluntary conservatorship, the individual may recognize that they are no longer able to care for themselves without help, whether due to disease, physical decline, or mental illness, and seek the court’s help in designating someone to make decisions on their behalf. In the event of a voluntary conservatorship, the individual (or someone acting on their behalf) would file an Application for Voluntary Conservatorship with the Connecticut Probate Court. This offers the individual the power to select their conservator, and to terminate the conservatorship with 30 days’ notice should they feel that it is no longer necessary.
Involuntary conservatorships require someone other than the person needing protection to submit an application, and they are harder to obtain. When a family member or loved one recognizes a loss in mental capacity or notices signs that an individual has been the victim of fraud, and wishes to prevent this individual from being able to make further damaging financial decisions, they might choose to apply for an involuntary conservatorship. Either the family or friend of the incapacitated person or someone acting on their behalf would need to submit an Application for the Appointment of a Conservator to a Connecticut Probate Court. The court would then schedule a hearing, allowing at least ten days’ notice of the hearing to the person over whom a conservatorship is sought.
The court will only grant a conservatorship where clear and convincing evidence shows that the individual is no longer capable of caring for themselves. Applicants must present medical evidence, gathered within the last 45 days of the hearing, from a physician who has examined the incapacitated individual. This evidence must provide support specifically for the individual’s ability to manage their personal, medical, and/or financial matters. This medical evidence, along with any other evidence presented by the applicant, will guide the judge’s decision on whether to impose a conservatorship.
Get Compassionate Advice and Skilled Assistance With Connecticut Conservatorship Matters
Once it becomes clear that you need to seek a conservatorship on behalf of a loved one, you’re probably already experiencing a great deal of stress and anxiety. Rather than attempt a complex legal process without help, hire the experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate Hartford conservatorship attorney Brian S. Karpe to complete a conservatorship petition on your behalf. Mr. Karpe has committed himself to end-of-life legal issues by completing a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree focused on estate planning and elder law which, in addition to his over thirty years of legal practice, makes him the best choice to help you apply for a conservatorship in Canton and throughout Hartford County, Litchfield, and Waterbury.