Who Makes a Good Guardian in The District of Columbia
Establishing a guardianship or conservator in the District of Columbia is extremely useful for people who are elderly or those who no longer have the capacity to take care of themselves. Typically, a guardian assists the person suffering from forms of incapacity to manage their quality of life. A conservator on the other hand normally focuses on managing an incapacitated person’s finances and assets.
In DC, a guardian must be court appointed. This process of judicial appointment begins with the submission of a petition to the Probate Division of the District of Columbia Superior Court. This provides you with the opportunity to prove that your loved one is in fact incapacitated with clear and convincing evidence, particularly medical evidence. This may take the form of medical records or a doctor’s affidavit. You may also request an examiner who diagnoses the loved one and establishes his degree of capacity for the court. You may also present evidence at a hearing held after you file the petition. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present any witnesses. Additionally, the examiner, if requested, will present his findings. This procedure provides many opportunities to demonstrate diminished capacity.
Qualities of A Good Guardian or Conservator
Throughout the formal process of establishing a guardianship, you will have to consider many delicate issues. This includes deciding what type of assistance your loved one needs and who can best provide it. Most often, a family member files a petition with the Court to appoint a guardian or conservator. However, you can also seek the appointment of someone else outside of your family to act in either of these roles. Whether or not you are the appropriate choice for a guardian often depends on your ability to fulfill particular duties.
Primary Duties of A Guardian in DC
As previously mentioned, a guardian in DC is responsible for the care, custody, and living situation of a person lacking capacity. The exact requirements of a guardian depend on the specifics of the individual situation. For example, taking care of and ensuring that a living situation for someone is satisfactory could mean that you must spend time with them and cook them meals each day. On the other hand, it could mean checking on them monthly and asking them if they need help with anything. Overall, a guardian’s duties typically include a combination of responsibilities that are simply administered at different levels. These responsibilities include but are not limited to ensuring that the person is receiving medical treatment, companionship, and social activity, and ensuring that their overall living situation is not deteriorating to the point that they need constant care.
Who makes a good guardian in the District of Columbia is not an easy question to answer, however, discussing these questions can help ensure that your loved one is taken care of.
Primary Duties of A Conservator in DC
A conservator in DC focuses on managing incapacitated individuals financial and legal affairs. This includes ensuring that the person has enough funds to receive healthcare, buy food, and pay for any additional services that are necessary for their lifestyles such as rent or home care. Additionally, a conservator in DC can register a person for government benefits. While this is only applicable if the incapacitated individual does not have sufficient savings, it can be vital that these benefits are utilized so that person can receive the care they need.
Would I Be an Appropriate Guardian or Conservator?
As the petitioner of the guardianship or conservatorship, you must consider if you would be able to commit the time and resources necessary. Generally, the guardian is responsible for care, custody, and control. However, they are not personally liable to third persons for the actions of the loved one. Additionally, the commitment requires substantial personal contact with the loved one on a regular basis.
Other duties include taking care of personal effects and commencing any protective proceedings. Additionally, they must report your loved one’s condition in writing and making decisions on their behalf. They must do so by conforming as closely as possible to there wishes. The duties of a conservator, on the other hand, are concurrent with the financial needs of the loved one. The role of a guardian or conservator also comes with formal duties. These include filing an Inventory and Conservatorship Plan within 60 days; an annual Statement of Account within 30 days of the anniversary date of appointment; a Guardianship Plan within 90 days of appointment; and a Report of Guardian every six months from the anniversary date of appointment.
Contact our DC Law Office for More Information
For more information related to who makes a good guardian in the District of Columbia, please contact Antonoplos & Associates at 202-803-5676. You can also directly schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys.