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Does a loved one need a conservatorship?

The topic of conservatorships has gotten renewed attention recently. The case of Britney Spears is the subject of much of the coverage. However, a look at when conservatorships are warranted is important for anyone with a loved one who may not be able to properly look after their own affairs. It is always a good time to learn more about this legal tool.

Conservatorships help families protect and manage the affairs of adults who can no longer make wise decisions. Conservators typically take responsibility for the adult’s finances, lifestyle, health care and other matters.

When are conservatorships warranted?

If your loved one is incapable of making sound decisions or providing self-care, you may need a conservatorship. When adults become a danger to themselves or others, a conservatorship may also be necessary. You might consider implementing this legal tool for a family member who:

  • Has a mental illness
  • Is languishing in a coma
  • Has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia
  • Suffered brain damage from an accident or other trauma
  • Is suicidal or inflicts self-harm
  • Has lingering effects from a stroke

Sometimes, conservatorships can end up being too restrictive on the adult in question. You may avoid overly restricting your loved one by choosing a limited conservatorship or one that only lasts for a short time. You can review your family member’s situation to determine if you should terminate or renew the conservatorship.

Please consider learning more about conservatorship options before having one created for your loved one. Doing so can make a big difference in your family member’s independence and quality of life.