Experienced Lawyer Handling Conservatorships And Guardianships In Mississippi
You may need to establish a guardianship or conservatorship over a family member, loved one, or friend if he is unable to care for himself or his finances due to:
- Mental incompetency
- Psychiatric problems
- Alzheimer's disease or dementia
- Drug/alcohol addiction
- The fact that he is a minor (under the age of 21)
A guardianship is a tool that gives you custody and control over the person and/or the estate of a minor or person of "unsound mind." This allows you to manage his physical care and/or finances when he is unable or incompetent to do so himself.
A conservatorship is a tool used to assist persons who, by reason of advanced age, physical incapacity, or mental weakness (i.e. Alzheimer's disease or dementia), are incapable of managing their own estates or their own persons.
If a guardianship or conservatorship is warranted, a petition will be filed with the Chancery Clerk. In most cases, the petition is accompanied by certificates of two physicians indicating that they have determined that your loved one is unable to manage his/her own affairs due to his/her incapacity. A hearing will be held at which the Chancery Court will determine whether the evidence is sufficient to establish a guardianship or conservatorship, and whether you should be given charge of the estate (finances) of your loved one or custody of your loved one or both.
Once a guardianship or conservatorship is established, you are vested with certain fiduciary duties, powers and responsibilities to your loved one, which may include, among other things, the power to commit him to a long-term care facility or make health care decisions for him and the duty to preserve and protect his finances.
The Court may require you to post a bond to protect your loved one's estate and file annual accountings with the Court to prove that you are responsibly handling his finances for his benefit. It is within the Court's discretion to compensate you for your services and reasonable expenses incurred as guardian or conservator, including attorney's fees.
Guardianships and conservatorships may be terminated by order of the Court when your loved one has been restored in mind or body, upon his reaching the age of majority, etc. Guardianships and conservatorships may also automatically be terminated upon the death of your loved one.
To find out whether a guardianship or conservatorship is warranted in your situation, turn to the Law Offices of James D. Franks. We can help you navigate this complex matter.
We provide comprehensive advice, information and guidance to our clients throughout northern Mississippi.