When an individual is determined to be incapable of making independent decisions necessary for proper management of his or her life, a guardianship is often necessary. The form, or limits, to the scope of the guardianship (meaning what management authority is being transferred from the "incapacitated" individual to the guardian) depends on the circumstances of the individual. A guardianship may be permanent, temporary, or limited to particular decision-making authority.
A guardianship does not provide for the authority to manage the incapacitated individual's assets, unless the incapacitated person's only assets stem from monthly income. In order to manage existing assets of an incapacitated individual, a conservatorship is necessary.
Under a conservatorship, the incapacitated individual may actually lose the legal ability to manage their bank accounts, enter into contracts, or accrue debt, so that the conservator is responsible for these responsibilities. A conservatorship may be limited to certain financial decisions, such as the authority to pay for medical expenses.
If you would like more information on guardianships or conservatorships, or you would like to schedule a one-hour consultation, contact the attorneys at Kelsey & Trask, P.C. by email or by calling 508 655-5980.