Every once in a while, we see situations where some celebrity seems to be going off the deep end, and someone—usually a parent—is named as their “conservator.” But, what exactly does this mean, and are out-of-control starlets the only ones who need conservatorships? As a Savannah lawyer, it is sometimes necessary to get involved with creating conservatorships for a variety of reasons.
What Is a Conservatorship?
Most commonly, conservatorships are used to give a person authority to make financial decisions for another who is unable to make sound decisions on their own. The conservator is bound to act in the best interest of the ward and is often monitored by a court investigator who reports back to the court. We’ve seen this play out publicly and spectacularly in situations such that of Britney Spears a few years ago.
Who Needs a Conservatorship?
While the cases of young Hollywood stars make the big headlines, these are not necessarily the people lawyers in Georgia are working with when it comes to conservatorships. Often, they are given when seniors are having difficulty caring for themselves and their finances.
Obviously a conservatorship is not something to be considered lightly, but they are available for good reason. Someone who is unable to manage their personal affairs any longer may well need someone else to step in and take on those responsibilities.
There are some telltale signs that might let you know a conservatorship should be considered:
• Bills are piling up
• Considerable amounts of unopened mail
• Utilities have been shut off
• Property taxes are unpaid
• The house is no longer kept up
Many of these signs coincide with the onset of dementia, and as a person’s memory fades, the ability to keep up with daily responsibilities also deteriorates. Lawyers in Georgia understand that there are times when it is in an individual’s best interest to have a conservatorship in place for his or her own protection.
As mentioned, it isn’t just the elderly who may require a conservatorship. There are a wide variety of reasons that a younger person might be in need of this kind of guidance and oversight, too. In order to keep this power from being abused, conservatorships must be granted by a court of law.
If you have questions about conservatorships and whether they would be applicable in a situation you are facing with a loved one, the best place to start is with a Savannah conservatorship attorney. He or she can advise you of your rights and walk you through the legal steps you will have to take to start the process.
We are available to help you answer such questions. Simply call our Savannah law firm at (912) 352-3999 and ask to schedule a complimentary Planning Session with the mention of this article.