Conservatorship: What is it and when is it necessary?

Most people over the age of 75 encounter mental or physical health challenges. It is often an adult son or daughter who is tasked with providing support to an aging parent, which can be quite difficult if a parent suffers physical or mental incapacity. In Georgia, and elsewhere, conservatorship is a process that allows someone to act on behalf of another who is no longer able to act on his or her own behalf.

When a court appoints a conservator, the appointee is able to make financial or personal care decisions for the incapacitated loved one in question. In these circumstances, the ability for the conservatee to act independently regarding finances or personal care becomes greatly restricted. A conservatorship of estate refers to an appointment made to manage the financial affairs, including debts, collections, income and other money-related issues. A conservatorship of person, on the other hand, concerns personal care decisions, such as physical health, food, clothing and shelter.

The court may authorize a conservator to admit a conservatee suffering from dementia to a secure facility that is fully equipped to provide care and support to those who suffer from the condition. The court may also authorize a conservator to consent to administration of certain drugs that are often used as treatment for those who suffer from dementia. Accepting a conservator appointment is a decision that should never be taken lightly.

It can be emotionally difficult to witness a parent's mental or physical decline. An adult child may feel alone or anxious when trying to determine a best course of action to help care for an aging parent. A Georgia long-term care planning attorney is a great asset to have on hand when questions or legal complications regarding conservatorship or other issues arise.

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