An Elder Law Attorney serves the needs of senior clients and their families. For most families the care of an elder member is a complicated and emotional process. Legal issues are often part of a larger financial, emotional, personal and physical ability review. A strong client- attorney relationship concerning elder law requires that the elder law lawyer understands not only the law but also the aging process and related medical and cognitive issues and the challenges these present for the person and the family. An Elder Law attorney might assist in the process of Medicare and Medicaid programs as well as preparing Wills, trusts, and powers of attorney, or helping to plan for disability, or accessing government benefits available to the elderly.
Conservatorship and Elder Law Attorney in Nashville, Tennessee
An elder law attorney in Tennessee can help set up a conservatorship to protect the assets of an adult who is losing mental capacity. Elderly people can be subject to abuse and exploitation, and a conservatorship is a way to protect the elderly person and the assets they have accumulated.
In a conservatorship, the Probate Court appoints a responsible person, usually a relative or family member, to have legal responsibility for the assets and the care of someone who no longer can manage for himself. A court-appointed conservator must file annual accounting with the court.
Before a conservator is appointed, a physician must examine the individual who is at risk. The physician completes a report on the person’s mental capacity and ability to care for himself. The Probate Court will appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate the situation and report to the court as to whether or not a conservatorship is necessary and whether the petitioner is the appropriate person to serve as conservator.
Once appointed the conservator must file a property management plan with the court. The conservator must be bonded, and the conservator must file an annual accounting showing how he or she has used the ward’s assets for his or her care and needs.
A conservatorship is one way of protecting the assets of an elderly person who has lost mental capacity. If a durable power of attorney is executed while the person has the mental capacity to do so, a family member or friend may be able to provide financial management without the necessity of court supervision. Similarly, the creation of a revocable trust while the person has mental capacity, is another form of planning for disability. An elder law attorney will review these options and help determine the method that best fits your circumstances.