As our loved ones age it becomes increasingly difficult to know how to best care for them and support their independence. The time may come when they lose the ability to manage their own health, property and finances. Although coming to terms with this reality is hard, filing for a Guardianship and Conservatorship over your loved one may be the right step for all involved.
The Law in Virginia
In Virginia, the process for filing for Guardianship and Conservatorship is governed by statute and is incredibly detailed. You need a skilled attorney, like those at Toscano Law Group, to draft and file the petition to ensure it is in compliance with the Code of Virginia. Once the petition is filed, the court will appoint a Guardian ad litem or “GAL” to represent the interests of your loved one. The Guardian ad litem will meet with your loved one and ultimately make a recommendation to the court as to whether a Guardianship and Conservatorship is appropriate. The Guardian ad litem can be a great resource both for you and your loved one.
The law also requires that a medical professional perform an evaluation of your loved one. That evaluation will be filed with the court and will help the judge determine the competency of your loved one. If the court grants your request and appoints you as Guardian and Conservator, you then need to post a bond and qualify to get certified with the circuit court clerk’s office. The bond ensures that you faithfully perform your duties and keep an accurate accounting of your loved one’s finances.
Guardianship and Conservatorship proceedings can be unpredictable and emotional. The law requires that family members be given notice of the proceedings, so various family members can come out of the woodwork and contest the proceedings. This common complication is another reason you should ensure you have a qualified attorney representing you. Family dynamics can be complicated and can distract from the ultimate issue: whether your loved one can adequately care for herself or himself. An experienced attorney can keep both you and the court focused on the ultimate issue.
Contact Us for A Consultation
We’ll be happy to help guide you through the Guardianship and Conservatorship process. We will help you advocate for your loved one and give you peace of mind that their care and finances are in good hands. Although Guardianship and Conservatorship proceedings often concern elderly family members, they can be initiated in cases involving adults of any age.
Call our office today to set up a consultation. Whether you are looking to file a petition for Guardianship and Conservatorship, seeking to modify an existing Guardianship and Conservatorship, or desire to contest a pending proceeding, our team looks forward to serving you!
-Molly Bricker, Esq.
Attorney at Law