Protecting the Property of an Incapacitated Person
In Utah, the legal term "conservator" is used to describe a person or an institution that has been appointed by the court as a protector of the property of an incapacitated person ("ward"). Unlike a guardian, a conservator is charged with protecting and prudently investing the personal property of the ward. A conservator does not have the authority to make decisions regarding the ward's physical welfare, as does a guardian.
When an individual has failed to execute powers of attorney, advance health care directives or a trust with provisions for dealing with the incapacity of the trust creator, often, the only way to legally protect that person is to seek a guardianship or conservatorship in the state courts. Although the process is not particularly simple, it is designed to protect the ward from those who would seek to exploit them through such a grant of authority.
What if it's an Emergency?
In cases where an individual is in immediate danger of financial exploitation or physical harm, Utah law allows for the appointment of a temporary guardian and/or conservator. This can be completed within a matter of days or hours rather than the typical time-span of a proper guardianship proceeding. However, one must prove to the judge that there is in fact an emergency.
An emergency guardianship petition is typically filed with a standard petition so that a permanent guardian is appointed before expiration of the temporary appointment.
If you believe that someone you know is in need of a conservatorship, contact us to schedule a consultation.
From within Utah County and Salt Lake County, our law firm represents estate planning and elder law clients from Alpine, Highland, Lehi, American Fork, Saratoga Springs, Eagle Mountain, Sandy, Draper, Herriman, South Jordan, Pleasant Grove, Salt Lake City, Lindon, Provo, Orem, Spanish Fork, Payson, Santaquin, and Springville. The Utah Law Firm of Platt Law, P.C. focuses on Utah estate planning, wills, trusts, estates, probate administration, asset protection, Medical Assistance planning, Medicaid planning & eligibility, Veterans Benefits planning, VA Aid and Attendance planning, elder law, business succession planning, family limited partnerships, real estate and transactional law. With years of experience, attorney RobRoy Platt is an experienced estate planning attorney, trust attorney, probate attorney, asset protection attorney, Medicaid attorney, Veterans Benfits attorney, and elder law attorney. Melissa Platt is an experienced business succession attorney, trust attorney, estate planning attorney, and real estate attorney.