What if a loved one was in a car accident tomorrow and became incapacitated? If there is no estate plan or a power of attorney in place, the next step is a family-appointed Legal Guardian and/or Conservator.
What Does Being a Guardian and Conservator Mean?
A Guardian legally makes decisions of the wellbeing, medical care, maintenance and support on behalf of a minor or incapacitated adult. A Conservator makes decisions regarding the financial affairs and property, or the estate.
Guardian: An individual entrusted with the duties to make decisions on behalf of a minor or incapacitated adult – a Ward – regarding their well-being, medical care, maintenance, and support. Responsibilities include:
- Making sure the Ward resides in the best and least restrictive setting reasonably available.
- Ensuring the Ward receives necessary medical care.
- Promoting and protecting the care, comfort, health, safety and welfare of the Ward.
- Providing required consents on behalf of the Ward.
- Exercising all powers and discharging all duties necessary for the benefit of the Ward.
- As a guardian of a minor, you have custody and control of the Ward and must provide for his or her education, support, and maintenance.
Conservator: On a similar note, a conservator is entrusted with the duties to make decisions on behalf of a minor or incapacitated adult – the Protectee – regarding their financial affairs and property. Responsibilities include:
- Filing an inventory with the court detailing all the Protectee’s assets, including all real and personal property.
- Never commingling any of your own assets with the Protectee’s assets.
- Receiving court approval for transactions concerning the Protectee’s funds.
- Providing an accounting of all transactions for the Protectee annually.
What if You Decide Not to Appoint a Guardian or Conservator?
Without a valid Guardian or Conservator, it is extremely tough to coordinate with financial and medical institutions. These entities are bound by laws that make it nearly impossible for anyone besides the incapacitated person to make important decisions and transactions on his own behalf. This could mean loss of a home and assets as he lay in a hospital indefinitely.
Who Do we Turn to for Help?
To begin the process of becoming a Guardian and/or Conservator, it is best to reach out to the Bolinger Law Firm of St. Louis first. We are here to guide you, ensure that you are completing the process legally, and become your advocate in the event that your request is challenged.
We are devoted to compassionately protecting your loved one by making sure the necessary legal support system is in place. Contact us today for your free consultation and untangle the legal knot to start providing the best care for your loved one right away. (636) 386-8322