A guardian is a person appointed by the court to make healthcare and personal decisions for a minor (under 18 years old) or an adult incapacitated person (called the "protected person"). A conservator is a person who is appointed to manage the property and finances for someone who is financially incapable. If the person is in crisis and an emergency exists a temporary guardianship or conservatorship may be appropriate.

The process begins by filing a petition with the court. The petition must contain specific facts supporting allegations of incapacity. A copy of the petition must be personally served on the proposed protected person, together with information about the right to object to the petition, the right to request a hearing, and the right to retain an attorney. The proposed protected person ́s spouse, parents, adult children, cohabitant, trustee, health care representative, and attorney for the person, if any also must be notified of the petition.

Expenses associated with a guardianship or conservatorship include the court ́s filing fee, fees for serving documents on the proposed protected person, the court visitor ́s fee, and attorney fees. These expenses can be reimbursed from the protected person ́s funds after the court appoints a guardian or conservator. The court may approve payment for the guardian or conservator’s time and out-of-pocket expenses.

Becoming a guardian or conservator can be very stressful. Karen has the experience and skill necessary to guide you through this process. She assists clients with correctly preparing the annual guardian's report and conservator's accounting and ensures that they are punctually filed with the court.