When an adult individual can no longer effectively manage their affairs it is often necessary to obtain a court-appointed fiduciary to manage the affairs of that individual. In Virginia a “guardian” manages “the person” of the individual, which means they are responsible for medical decisions, living arrangements, etc. and a “conservator” is responsible for managing the “estate” of the individual, which includes all money, assets, etc. The process for having these fiduciaries appointed requires appearance before a judge and is highly technical. When other family members dispute the appropriate person to be appointed (or the necessity of such an appointment) the matter can linger on and become costly. Our attorneys leverage their experience to minimize delay and costs in these proceedings to seek appointment of appropriate fiduciaries where necessary.
Our attorneys also represent individuals who have been alleged to be in need of a guardian or conservator and desire to oppose appointment of a fiduciary. These matters involve the removal of rights from an individual and granting rights to a fiduciary. Long-term problems arise when rights are inappropriately removed or where insufficient rights are given to the fiduciary. Our attorneys creatively involve their elder law and estate planning experience in these instances to minimize the necessity of court-supervised fiduciary relationships (which can be expensive to administer) and achieve the most workable solution for the long-term benefit of the client. Additionally, we represent guardians and conservators in complying with their fiduciary duties and court reporting requirements.