Setting Up a Guardianship in Virginia
The law provides legal instruments, called guardianships and conservatorships, to provide for minors whose parents die or for adults who become mentally or physically incapacitated. By working closely with an experienced Virginia estate planning attorney at James W. Hilldrup, PLC, you can put legal documentation in place that protects your loved ones.
What is a guardianship?
A guardianship assigns a guardian, a legally appointed individual who has the responsibility of providing for food, shelter, health care and the other personal needs of a person that the court recognizes as either wholly or partially incapable of handling such needs. Courts can appoint guardians for minor children or for mentally or physically incapacitated adults. Guardians carry out the duties only as assigned by the court and, if so ordered, can also act as fiduciaries, handling the individual’s financial affairs in a manner that is in the person’s best interests.
How to set up a guardianship?
When drafting a will as part of estate planning, you can name a guardian for your minor children. In the event that you and your spouse unexpectedly die, this provision ensures that the person you want to raise your children is in the legal position to do so.
You can also set up a guardianship by filing a petition in the circuit court of the county or city where child or adult to be placed under guardianship lives or was a resident prior to becoming a patient in a hospital, nursing home or other care facility.
By having an experienced lawyer help you with the will or petition, you ensure that the documenation is sound or that the petition meets all of the court’s requirements.
What is a conservatorship?
In a conservatorship, the court appoints a conservator, who is responsible for managing the individual’s estate or financial affairs. Sometimes the court makes the same individual assume the duties of guardian and conservator. In either case, the purpose of the assignment is to protect the cared for individual's best interests.
Both guardianships and conservatorships can be temporary, limited (meaning the appointment is for handling limited functions that the incapacitated person is incapable of handling) or full. In a full conservatorship or guardianship, the appointed party must manage all the individual’s financial and personal needs.
Protect your loved ones’ rights through guardianships and conservatorships
Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of setting up a guardianship or conservatorship with an experienced lawyer. For trustworthy legal assistance, contact the offices of James W. Hilldrup, PLC in Fredericksburg today.