When Should Families Seek a Conservatorship?

If you have aging parents, then you may be starting to see signs of decline you can’t ignore. When your parents reach a point they are mentally incapable of managing their personal affairs, it may be time to consider petitioning the court for a conservatorship.

It can be difficult to admit your loved one is having problems with basic tasks like:

  • Driving/Auto Maintenance
  • Finances
  • Shopping
  • Home Maintenance
  • Meal Preparation

Petitioning for a Conservatorship in Tennessee

Conservatorships are granted when an individual needs assistance with healthcare and financial decisions. A conservator can be appointed for short-term or permanent incapacitation. Conservatorships are awarded for adults who have serious difficulties caring for themselves and are vulnerable because they have diminished decisions making abilities due to aging, mental health, and physical decline. A judge has the discretion to make a conservator order temporary or long-term, and these decisions are usually based on evidence provided by medical professionals and individuals with information about the state of the adult needing assistance.

Contesting a conservatorship is possible if there are family members who believe it’s not necessary. When a family doesn’t agree with a petition that has been filed, a third-party advocate may be assigned to assess the situation while the family works to resolve the matter. Filing a petition for conservatorship takes time, but it can be an especially lengthy process if it’s contested by other family members. So, it’s important to have strong motivations and evidence to support your request.

When Should Families Seek a Conservatorship?

It can be difficult to know if petitioning for a conservatorship of an adult parent or loved one is the right choice. Knowing for sure that you’re making the right decision may not be possible, but you can feel confident in your choice by soliciting the assistance of healthcare professionals and attorneys who can provide guidance on the matter. You can also research and find accounts from other individuals dealing with the same situation.

Here are a few of the signs to look for when deciding if you should pursue a conservatorship of your parent:

  • Struggles to Make Sound Decisions: Being awarded a conservatorship over an adult person requires a sound reason. An important reason is your adult family member has some level of incapacitation. When people think of being incapacitated, they associate it with a coma or an inability to walk or talk. Most adults don’t reach this level of incapacity before needing intervention. Your family member or loved one may need help now but seem fine when you see them briefly. It’s important to intervene sooner rather than later. You don’t want to wait until their incapacity and limitations escalate to a serious injury or accident.
  • At-Risk From Vulnerability: If you think another person has undue influence over your mom, dad, or loved one, you should begin documenting or searching for evidence of this suspicion. Sadly, financial elder abuse is a growing crime in the country. It’s not uncommon for dishonest people to encourage vulnerable elderly citizens to move money and property into their control. If you think someone could take advantage of your loved one because of their age or mental acuity, you may have cause to intervene on their behalf.
  • Issues Over Medical Care: Aging and certain medical issues can cause your loved one to struggle to make prudent medical choices to protect their continued health. If your mom, dad, or loved one has a critical medical issue they are ignoring or refusing to act in their best interest, you may need to seek an emergency intervention to get them the care their doctor suggests.

Clarksville Estate Planning and Conservatorship Attorneys

No child wants to feel like they are taking away their parent’s freedom, but if you are worried about their safety, a conservatorship may be your only option to protect them. It’s important to hire an attorney with experience in estate planning and conservatorship issues. If your parent or loved one is showing signs of decline or an inability to care for themselves, you need a Clarksville conservatorship attorney.Give us a call today at (931) 361-4477 to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.

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