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LifePlan Legal AZ

Mesa and Gilbert, AZ Estate Planning and Long Term Care Law Firm

Arizona Guardianship and Conservatorship

Serving Clients in Gilbert, Queen Creek, and the Surrounding Area

Very few people consider guardianship as a fully satisfactory solution to securing care for an incapacitated loved one, but without alternative options, it can be valuable tool to protect the personal and financial security of a parent or loved one who can no longer make decisions for themselves. At LifePlan Legal AZ, we work with you to understand and implement your options for guardianship, conservatorship, special needs trusts and other ways to protect vulnerable loved ones.

Our team also works with appointed guardians and conservators to ensure they understand their responsibilities, which often includes annual reports and accountings. In Arizona, guardians and conservators are fiduciaries; the law requires that every decision made on behalf of the ward or protected person is made in that person’s best interest.

For most, it is advisable to make proactive plans that avoid the necessity for guardianship and conservatorship. This can be accomplished through advanced planning including financial or health care powers of attorney, trustee designations, and special needs trusts. We can assist you in creating clear and effective instructions on how you will be cared for and ensure your wishes are known and honored. When proactive planning is insufficient, guardianship may become necessary.

Adult Guardianships

Guardianship is the legal process that the Arizona probate court uses to declare that a person is incapacitated and unable to make their own medical decisions. The court appoints an individual, known as an agent, to act on their behalf and make decisions on choice of doctor, treatment options, where the incapacitated person will live, and other important decisions. The ward may be incapacitated through an accident, suffer from an incapacitating illness, have a mental illness, mental deficiency, mental disorder or struggle with chronic intoxication or drug abuse.  

Adult Conservatorships

Conservatorships are similar to guardianship and are sometimes confused. They are formed when the probate court declares, because of incapacity, that a person unable to manager their own financial resources. This may include buying or selling property, managing investments, or other banking transactions. A conservatorship is typically granted in connection with a guardianship but is not required to be. If the ward or protected person has assets that are above a certain level, the court will monitor any appointed conservators by requiring annual reports on how those assets were used.

It is essential you give this authority only to a person you trust and who genuinely cares about you. You may consider limiting their authority to meet your best interests. Our team is experienced in assisting with filing for guardianship and conservatorship as well as assisting you to file your annual reporting and accounting.

Removing a Guardianship or Conservatorship Appointment

The removal of a guardianship or conservatorship can be a complicated process whereby the ward petitions the court to have their legal rights restored. They must demonstrate that their incapacity no longer exists or is such that they are no longer in need of a guardian or conservator.

To transfer the responsibility of guardianship to another person requires approval from the court after filing a petition and attending a hearing to determine if transferring guardianship is in the ward’s best interest.


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