An adult guardianship or conservatorship is created when a Virginia circuit court determines that a person is unable to manage his or her own personal or financial affairs and appoints a guardian and/or conservator for that person. When a special needs child turns 17 and a six months old, a parent can also file for guardianship of that child.
Virginia Guardianship Attorney
What is the process for appointing a guardian or conservator?
Any person may file a petition with a Virginia Circuit Court alleging that there is an incapacitated Virginia resident who needs to have a guardian or conservator appointed to manage some or all of his affairs.
The petition must be filed in the Circuit Court for the city or county in which the respondent lives or where he lived immediately prior to moving to a nursing home, assisted living facility or other institution.
After the petition is filed, the Court will appoint an attorney for the incapacitated person, and a hearing will be scheduled for the court to hear evidence as to why a guardianship and/or conservatorship is necessary and who should be appointed if it is necessary.
When will a court appoint a guardian or conservator?
Lack of good judgment by the respondent is not enough for the court to find a person incapacitated.
The court must determine that the respondent is incapable of receiving and evaluating information effectively or responding to people, events, or what is going on around him to such an extent that he lacks the capacity to do either or both of the following:
- Meet the essential requirements for his health, care, and safety without the assistance or protection of a guardian, or
- Manage property or financial affairs or provide for his or her support without the assistance or protection of a conservator.
As a Guardian, you are bound by a court of law to protect the interests of the individual in need.
- Daily care and quality of life
- Personal health and safety
- Educational goals and pursuits
- Medical treatment and plan of care
- Residential and living arrangements
- Maintaining property and possessions
- Financial concerns, bill paying, etc.
- Protection and maintenance of all assets
How long does a guardianship or conservatorship last?
A guardianship or conservatorship ends when the incapacitated person dies. The conservator has a duty to turn over whatever assets she still has in her possession to the administrator or executor of the incapacitated person’s estate. In some cases, the Court may appoint a guardian for limited period of time, where an incapacitated person is expected to recover from their incapacity.