As we age, we often encounter situations which are difficult. It is common for an senior to have declining faculties. This is a difficult and stressful event for the family. As Mom or Dad has significant problems, it is difficult to encounter and deal with. At some stage, the family may need to step in to help them, preserve their assets and make the right decisions.
If Mom or Dad becomes unable to manage his/her affairs, the family can often step in on a short term basis with a durable power of attorney and advance directive. However, for the long term, someone should have the power to manage their affairs thorough a Conservatorship.
A Conservator is appointed by the Probate Court. In some states, a conservator is known as a “guardian”. However in Connecticut the term is “Conservator.” The Courth has to find the person is unable to manage his/her affairs. It will then appoint a conservator to handle them.
Unable to Manage Their Affairs
In Connecticut, the someone has to present medical evidence at the hearing from at least one physician who has examined the respondent within forty-five days of the hearing. The application has to show the specific information surrounding the situation and the effect of the condition on the ability to care for himself or to manage his. Of course, the Court may order its own evaluation. The Court may also consider any other evidence.
The Court has a high burden to impose a Conservatorship. It has to find by clear and convincing evidence that the individual is incapable of caring for himself or herself and is unable to manage his or her financial affairs and that the appointment of a conservator is the least restrictive means of intervention available to assist the respondent in managing his affairs.
There are many factors the Court will consider. These include the person’s abilities, capacity to understand and articulate informed preferences about his or her care or management of his or her affairs.
If Mom or Dad is still competent, they can use a Voluntary Conservatorship. In this proceeding, Mom or Dad would file an application for Voluntary Conservatorship with the Probate Court. Mom or Dad would then choose his/her conservator and the conservatorship can be terminated at any time by the individual upon giving the Court 30 days notice.
Connecticut and New York often have different Conservatorship laws so it makes a difference if you live in Brookfield or Somers.