Generally, we all want our loved ones to have healthy, independent lives. But what if you don’t think that’s possible?you may be very concerned that one of your loved ones is making some really poor choices and doesn’t seem to have the capability to manage their own affairs without disaster. Is conservatorship an option?
Maybe. A conservator can be appointed over someone’s estate to handle their financial affairs or over their person to make medical decisions. Some conservators manage both when the court finds that to be necessary. But filing an application for conservatorship isn’t a sure bet. You have to prove that the person to be conserved genuinely lacks the mental capacity to make considered decisions about their own life.
It’s important to remember that there can be a big gap between what you see as a dangerous inability to manage their own affairs and what the court will see as a problem. Just because someone makes life choices that are at odds with what you think they should be doing, doesn’t necessarily make them incapacitated.
The court is reluctant to deprive anyone of their personal autonomy and independence by declaring them legally incapacitated. To that end, the person who is the subject of conservatorship action will automatically be entitled to a hearing. If they contest the conservatorship (and many do), they will be able to present evidence about their mental and physical health that indicates that they can, in fact, handle their own affairs.
Even if you are successful in obtaining conservatorship, bear in mind that the conserved person can always petition the court to terminate the relationship at any point. That’s particularly important to remember if you seek conservatorship over a young person with developmental delays. There may come a time in the future when he person becomes capable of handling their own financial and personal business.
If you’re contemplating asking the court for conservatorship of a loved one of any age, find out more about what it may take to get a Connecticut court to agree.