If you have minor children, you need to make crucial decisions to ensure their care and financial support in the event of your death or incapacity. Likewise, if you have an elderly or disabled relative, they may need help managing their healthcare decisions and financial affairs. At Donald R. Fuller, Jr., PLLC, I work to devise solutions that give my clients peace of mind knowing that their loved ones will be protected in such trying circumstances. I am experienced in creating guardianships for minor children and conservatorships for elderly or disabled or family member and can guide you through the entire process.
A guardian of minor children is appointed when no parent is alive or legally competent to care for them. Circumstances that might require a guardian include when parents are incarcerated or institutionalized, when they lack the necessary mental capacity to undertake child care or when there has been a proven history of parental abuse or neglect.
Parents can name a guardian in their wills, but a court must make the formal appointment and may reject a nominated guardian whom it finds is unwilling or unable to care for a child. I can advise on how to select the most appropriate guardian for your situation and an alternative guardian who can be given the role if your primary choice is unavailable or is rejected by the court.
A conservator is appointed by a court to oversee the financial or personal affairs of person deemed incapable of doing so for themselves due to advanced age or mental or physical disability. Examples of situations that may require conservatorship are:
I can assist you in the process of having yourself or another qualified person appointed as a conservator to manage your loved one’s financial needs responsibly in their best interests.
You might be able to avoid appointing a conservator through the use of a durable power of attorney. This legal document allows a person to give someone else the authority to make decisions on their behalf if they become unable to do so. It requires that the grantor of the power be of sound mind and not be acting due to coercion, fraud or mistake. A power of attorney is durable if it provides that it will remain in effect if and when the grantor becomes physically or mentally incapacitated, terminating only upon death. I can advise you on whether this arrangement is appropriate for your loved one’s situation.
Guardians and conservators have similar roles and responsibilities, which include but are not limited to:
I can represent your interest in the cared-for individual by making sure that a guardian or conservator performs their duties faithfully and competently. I also serve as counsel for guardians or conservators, giving thorough and comprehensive guidance on how to carry out their functions effectively.
Donald R. Fuller, JR., PLLC serves clients throughout western North Carolina who need help with conservatorships and guardianships. Call me at 828-639-8188 or contact me online to schedule a consultation at my Hickory office.