Northern Virginia Conservatorship
Virginia has safeguards to protect the interests of adults who become incapacitated and can no longer manage their estates or financial affairs. If a person is incapacitated, you can file for a conservatorship. The judge will evaluate the petition, and if approved, you will be responsible for managing the person’s affairs.
As the filing party, the burden of proof rests on your shoulders. You must prove that the person is legally incapacitated and needs someone to manage their finances. This is never an easy process, but it’s even more challenging when you are close to the person and emotionally invested. Hiring a Northern Virginia conservatorship lawyer from PJI Law will make it much easier to move forward. We can help you prepare the petition, gather evidence, and prove your case to the judge.
Duties of a Conservator
A conservator has numerous duties, but they fall into two categories. As a conservator, you will:
Steps to Become a Conservator in Northern Virginia
If you want to become a conservator in Northern Virginia, you must begin by filing a petition. Then the court will appoint a Guardian Ad Litem to the case. It’s the Guardian Ad Litem’s job to investigate the statements you made when petitioning the court.
The circuit court will also require that you provide evidence that explains why the person needs a conservator. This evidence must clearly show that the individual is incapacitated.
You will then attend a hearing, where the judge will hear the evidence. You should bring a Northern Virginia conservatorship attorney with you to present the evidence and answer legal questions.
If the conservatorship is approved, the judge will issue a court order. Then you will need to formally qualify for the role through the Probate Department of the Clerk of the Circuit Court.
Surety Bond for Conservatorships
You might need to get a surety bond before the conservatorship goes into effect. A surety bond is essentially an insurance policy to protect the incapacitated individual. If you fail to uphold your duties or misuse the property or money, the court can intervene. The judge will have the surety company repay the money lost to the estate. Then you will have to pay the surety company.
If you have to get a surety bond, the court will provide the amount. Your Northern Virginia conservatorship attorney can help you get the bond you need to become a conservator.
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Compensation for Conservators
You can receive “reasonable compensation” for your role as a conservator. However, the Commissioner of Accounts must formally approve the compensation request before you can receive money. If you are unsure of how to receive compensation, speak to a Northern Virginia conservatorship lawyer. Your attorney will help you take the steps necessary to apply to receive reasonable compensation. The lawyer can also help you determine what is reasonable in your case.
Can You End a Conservatorship?
If you get an appointment as a conservator, you can resign from your duties after filing the final documents. A conservatorship will also end if the incapacitated person passes away or if capacity is restored. Ending a conservatorship because of restoration of capacity is quite rare. Generally, once a conservator is appointed, the arrangement stays in place for life. The conservator might change, but the person will still be in a conservatorship.
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