What You Need to Know About Conservatorships for Your Parents

Do you have a parent or adult friend who can no longer make his or her own decisions regarding their finances and medical care? Perhaps they’ve experienced a brain injury that left them in a coma, a stroke that impaired normal function or they suffer from Alzheimer’s disease. Financial planners or bank officers also may contact family members if they notice a change in a client’s financial habits. If the parent/client does not have a durable power of attorney in place, or the power of attorney is not being used for their benefit, you will need to ask a court to appoint a conservator in a court-monitored conservatorship proceeding. Becoming a conservator (or asking that a third party become the conservator) gives you the legal ability to help them in ways you could not before and replaces a previous power of attorney which might be exercised by someone who is not acting in the parent’s best interest. 

There are two different functions of a conservator. The conservator of finances handles financial affairs on the incapacitated person’s behalf. The conservator of the person handles healthcare decisions. Both roles can be taken by the same person.  A physician will also have to recommend that the person they have examined needs a conservatorship.

If I become my parent’s conservator, what will I be able to do?

You will be able to:

  • Sell real estate,
  • Manage property,
  • Choose doctors,
  • Choose care facilities,
  • And more.

You will need to file updates with the court about the things you do on behalf of your parent. This is to ensure that you do not mishandle their property. If you do, you can be replaced as conservator and be subject to penalties. 

What if someone else is caring for my parent and I believe they are mishandling funds or mistreating my parents?

Nationally, only 1 out of every 44 crimes against seniors is reported. If you suspect mistreatment of an elderly person, please report it. You can reach Tennessee’s Adult Protective Services at (615) 532-3492. 

Who can help me with a conservatorship-related matter?

If you think your parent needs a conservator and you want to take on these duties, contact us today. The process of becoming a conservator involves a large amount of paperwork and can become very complicated, so it is important to have an experienced lawyer by your side. We pride ourselves on providing our clients with close personalized attention and the highest value. Give us a call to get started. 

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McCracken Kuhn PLLC

McCracken Kuhn PLLC was founded by Attorneys Joanna McCracken, Irwin Kuhn, and Demi Marks with the goal of approaching family law in a new and innovative manner.

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