If a person needs help to manage their affairs, their loved ones may want to consider a conservatorship. Conservatorship is a legal arrangement established by a court that ensures the well-being and financial stability of a person who cannot make decisions, due to their physical or mental incapacity. That person is called a ward.
Types of conservatorships
In Mississippi, there are two types of conservatorships to consider. In a conservatorship of the person, the appointed conservator has responsibility for the care of the ward. The conservator oversees the ward’s living arrangements, medical care and other quality-of-life issues.
In a conservatorship of the estate, the appointed conservator is responsible for the ward’s finances. This includes assets, income, expenses and investments. The conservator manages the ward’s finances in their best interest.
Petitioning the court
The conservatorship process starts when the loved one files a petition with the court. That person must include documentation to support the need for a conservatorship and evidence of the proposed ward’s incapacity.
The court will schedule a hearing where the parties can support or oppose the conservatorship. The court will also appoint a guardian ad litem, who will review the circumstances of the conservatorship and make a recommendation to the court. Then, the court will decide whether the conservatorship is in the proposed ward’s best interest.
If the conservatorship is granted, the court will issue an order outlining the conservator’s responsibilities to the ward and to the court. The court may require the conservator to submit regular reports and an accounting of how the ward’s assets are being managed.