This is the final post in a series of articles discussing involuntary conservatorships for residents of Hartford and other areas of Connecticut. Our previous article addressed how a Power of Attorney may be used to avoid the need for a conservatorship in the future. Powers of Attorney allow individuals to select a person to act as their agent should they become incapacitated in the future. Unlike a conservatorship, an agent can take the actions for which they were authorized without oversight by the Probate Court. This approach is preferable for most individuals but requires advance planning. Discussing your options with an estate planning attorney can help ensure that you have the appropriate documentation in place should the need arise. If you need assistance with a conservatorship issue or with estate planning, contact us today to speak to an attorney.
This series focused on the following:
- What is an Involuntary Conservatorship in Connecticut?
- When the Probate Court will appoint a Conservator
- A Conservator’s duties under Connecticut law
- The differences between a Power of Attorney and Conservatorship
- Using a Power of Attorney to avoid a Conservatorship
When a loved one becomes unable to manage their personal or financial affairs on their own, it may be necessary to request the appointment of a conservator. If you are considering this as an option, it is important to understand these important issues. First, under Connecticut law, a conservator may be appointed to represent an adult individual who has been determined by the Probate Court to be mentally incompetent and unable to handle their affairs. Second, the Probate Court gives careful consideration to such requests because a “conserved” individual’s rights are being restricted when a conservator is appointed. The Court will only do so when there are no other alternatives. Third, a conservator’s actions are monitored by the Probate Court and subject to ongoing oversight to ensure that they are meeting their fiduciary duties and acting in the best interest of the individual. Failing to fulfill such duties can result in legal liability. Fourth, unlike conservatorships, Powers of Attorney allow individuals to voluntarily select their representative and carefully tailor the authority granted to someone acting on their behalf. In many cases, it is possible to avoid the need for a conservator in the future by preparing a Power of Attorney in advance.
Our probate attorneys understand that discussing the deterioration of a loved one’s mental competency and finances can be a sensitive subject. We pride ourselves on our ability to provide effective and practical legal advice with the compassion that our clients deserve. If you need assistance, contact our office today to speak to a Hartford lawyer. We also service the areas of Wethersfield, New Britain, Rocky Hill, East and West Hartford, Bristol, Glastonbury, and Manchester, as well as the Middlesex County cities of Middletown and Cromwell.