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When you need a conservatorship in Connecticut

It is hard to watch someone you love go through life without the skills or capacity to manage his or her own affairs. But how can you help if a family member is unable to help himself or herself?

A family member or close acquaintance may petition the probate court in Connecticut to establish a conservatorship. This person may legally manage the financial or personal affairs of a person deemed incapable of doing so on his or her own.

There are two basic types of conservator under Connecticut law. A "conservator of the person" manages personal affairs such as food, clothing, health care and shelter. A "conservator of the estate" manages financial issues such as income, assets and public assistance benefits.

A person may be either or both of these types, depending on the needs of the individual in question. That individual must have been a resident of Connecticut for at least six months for the probate court to establish either type of conservatorship.

If a person expects to be incapacitated, such as encroaching dementia, he or she may name a future conservator through a process similar to executing a will. A successor conservator may also be named in case the first is unable to serve due to incapacity or death.

Individuals and their family members have the right to ensure their affairs are properly looked after by a caring and capable person. A legal representative may help advise on and execute the establishment of a legal conservatorship under the parameters of Connecticut law.

Source: Connecticut Probate Courts, "Probate Court User Guide for Conservators," accessed Dec. 22, 2017

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