The court assumes every adult to have the ability to make one’s own financial decisions. However, if the court believes that the adult has become incapacitated due to any reason, it may direct the appointment of a conservator.
A conservatorship in Chicago refers to a court decision whereby a person or an organization known as the ‘conservator’ is appointed to look after the financial affairs of a person called the ‘conservatee’. When does the court create a conservatorship? Is the conservatorship voluntary or involuntary? You will know the answers to these questions here in this article.
When is a Conservatorship Created for a Senior Adult?
A court may order to appoint a conservator for a senior individual only in certain situations. The conservator is appointed by a judge after a hearing. The court appoints a conservatorship if it is determined that the senior adult lacks the capacity to make financial decisions. This can be due to an injury, illness or disability.
In short, any physical or mental disorder that makes a person incapable of making financial decisions can result in the creation of a conservatorship. Some of the examples when a conservatorship is created for a senior adult include the following.
- The person has suffered a stroke
- The person has Alzheimer’s, dementia or other similar illness
- The person has gone into a coma
- The person has suffered a brain injury
- The person has any mental disorder
A conservatorship can be created when it has become apparent that a person cannot look after the financial affairs without the help of others. A conservator is appointed when the senior adult is not able to handle money-related decisions, such as paying the bills, taxes, debts, or fulfilling any other financial obligations.
The proceeding for the conservatorship can be voluntary or involuntary.
In a voluntary conservatorship, the court appoints a conservator at the request of the adult individual who seeks help in managing financial affairs. On the other hand, in an involuntary conservatorship, the court schedules a hearing and appoints a conservator without any formal request by the conservatee.
Is There an Alternative to Creating a Conservatorship?
A conservatorship provides less autonomy over who is assigned to manage the financial affairs of a senior adult. A better alternative to creating a conservatorship for senior adults is a power of attorney. You can designate anyone as a power of attorney for the senior individual. It avoids having the court designate a conservator for the senior individual. This can be more cost effective in the long run as well.
For more information regarding conservatorship and power of attorney, you can contact an experienced attorney in Chicago, IL. Contact Chicago Estate Lawyer if you want expert help and advice regarding any type of estate planning.