If someone is not able to manage their financial affairs, or make good decisions about their own care, and they do not have an effective estate plan in place giving people they trust legal authority to act for them, it may be necessary to have the court appoint people to protect them. A person appointed by the court to make health care and personal welfare decisions is called a guardian. A person appointed by the court to protect and manage property is called a conservator.
The court process for the appointment of guardians and conservators can be confusing and frustrating, especially to an adult with diminished capacity. The court procedures are designed to protect the rights of the adult who is getting all the attention, but it can seem intimidating and even frightening. Guidance from an experienced and compassionate attorney can help families understand what to expect and efficiently get through the process.