At some point, families must make difficult decisions regarding the future of their loved ones. Adult children often deal with an aging parent who is not able to make medical decisions or manage their finances. Parents must consider preferences for the care of their children when planning their estate. Whether a loved one is incapacitated and unable to make decisions, or a minor child does not have the support and guidance of their parents due to death or disability, appointing a guardian or conservator may be necessary.
A guardianship or conservatorship is established in situations when adults or minors are unable to make financial or health care arrangements on their own. In this case, a guardian or conservator can be appointed to ensure the safety and welfare of individuals that are incapable of caring for themselves or making important decisions that impact their daily lives.
It is important to discuss setting up guardianships or conservatorships with attorneys that understand all the issues involved. Arenson Law Group, PC has represented individuals and families that need assistance with their estate planning needs for decades. Contact us at (319) 363-8199 today to schedule a consultation with a Cedar Rapids guardianship and conservatorship lawyer from Arenson Law Group, PC.
How a Guardianship and Conservatorship Attorney Can Help
The laws concerning guardianships and conservatorships are complicated and complex. There are several different types of guardianships and conservatorships that can be established. Without an estate plan in place, the court could appoint a guardian that you do not want making decisions in family matters. The guardianship and conservatorship process can also take a long time and cost a large amount of money, creating stress for all family members that are involved. It is possible that disputes may arise over who should be named a guardian, creating a difficult strain between family members that may last a long time, even permanently damaging familial relationships.
Having experienced attorneys help set up a guardianship or conservatorship will ensure that you have an estate plan that is best suited for your interests and needs, and a plan that is legal and valid. This will ensure that your wishes are carried out and not disputed after your death. To ensure that your assets and beneficiaries are fully protected, you need to contact an attorney to guide you through this process.
Why Choose Us?
Arenson Law Group, PC has 30 years of experience representing clients in the Cedar Rapids area as well as across the state of Iowa. Most members of our legal team are Iowa natives, and we have a special connection to the communities and clients that we serve. We treat each person with respect, giving them the individualized attention required when dealing with guardianships and conservatorships. Our client testimonials attest to our dependability and success as a law firm, as do our awards, such as our AV-Preeminent Rating with Martindale Hubbell.
How Guardianships and Conservatorships Work
Once an adult is unable to make responsible decisions due to mental deficiency or health reasons, a court needs to appoint an individual, known as a guardian, who will make decisions for this person. A guardianship can also be set up for minor children whose parents are no longer able to care for them due to disability, mental incapacity, or death. Most importantly, state laws require that guardianship be imposed only when other alternatives are proven to be ineffective.
Guardianship is defined as a legal relationship between a competent adult and an individual who is no longer able to take care of their own affairs. This could be a minor child (also known as a ward). Once this guardianship is established, the assigned individual is authorized to make financial, legal, and healthcare decisions for the ward. Depending on the terms of the guardianship, a guardian may or may not need to seek court approval for certain decisions.
Some adults are unable to make responsible decisions about certain aspects of their lives. In this instance, the court may give a guardian decision-making power over certain areas of the ward’s life. This is called a limited guardianship, and a guardian can exercise only those rights that have been delegated specifically to the guardian.
While a guardianship deals with non-financial decisions (such as where the ward lives and what type of medical care received), a conservator is appointed to have control over an individual’s financial matters. This type of proceeding may be voluntary or involuntary. An adult needing assistance with finances can petition the probate court to appoint a conservator to manage their financial affairs. In other cases, a conservatorship is appointed when an individual is unable to manage their financial life but has the capacity to make other decisions.
It is possible to have one person be appointed both a guardian and conservator. The roles of guardianship and conservatorship can be combined with one court decision. Sometimes, co-guardians can be appointed in addition to a primary guardian. There are no restrictions on the number of co-guardians that can be appointed by the court.
The terms “guardian” and “conservator” may mean different things depending on the state where an individual resides. A person who is called a guardian in Iowa may also be referred to as a “conservator,” and vice versa.
Contact our Cedar Rapids Guardianship and Conservatorship Attorneys Today
Our attorneys have several decades of experience helping clients with guardianships and conservatorships in Cedar Rapids and throughout Iowa. Our estate planning lawyers provide a thorough approach, ensuring that matters regarding a guardianship are handled smoothly, and the welfare of your loved one is provided for in a safe and caring manner.
If you need assistance establishing guardianship or conservatorship, Arenson Law Group, PC can help. We can guide you through every stage of the process while protecting your interests and those of your loved ones. Contact the estate planning lawyers at Arenson Law Group, PC at (319) 363-8199 today to schedule a consultation today to discuss your estate planning needs.
Written by James H. ArensonLast Updated : October 13, 2023