Idaho Falls Guardianship Attorneys

The Difference Between a Guardianship vs Conservatorship

A guardianship and/or conservatorship may be necessary when a person is unable to care for themselves or manage their affairs. A minor child will need a guardian and conservator if their parents pass away or become unable (or unwilling) to adequately care for them. An adult could need a guardianship and/or conservatorship if they become incapacitated, experience significant mental decline, or otherwise cannot carry on without assistance. 

The terms “guardianship” and “conservatorship” are frequently used interchangeably, but they are two separate legal arrangements. A guardian is responsible for the well-being of their ward, while a conservator oversees the ward’s financial affairs. A ward’s guardian may also be their conservator, or they may be two separate individuals.

Call (208) 271-4403 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Flexible payment options are available, and we provide our legal services in English and Spanish.

Becoming a Guardian or Conservator

You must obtain court permission to become a person’s guardian and/or conservator. The specifics of the petitioning process will depend on the circumstances of the ward.

When a minor child’s parents pass away, it is assumed the child will need a guardian. In many cases, at least one of the parents will leave behind a will that names a preferred guardian. The court will generally honor this request assuming the named individual is available and capable of serving as a guardian.

Things can be more difficult if at least one of the child’s parents is still alive. The petitioning party will need to prove to the court that the current parent (or parents) is unfit. A parent may be considered unfit if they neglect the child, abuse the child, have substance abuse issues, or are otherwise unable to provide the child with basic necessities. 

If you are looking to obtain a guardianship for an adult, you must demonstrate that the adult is unable to adequately care for themselves. If you are seeking a conservatorship for an adult, you must show the adult is specifically incapable of managing their financial affairs. All adults in the United States are presumed to be capable of handling their affairs unless proven otherwise, so you will need substantial, convincing evidence. An adult might need a guardianship or conservatorship if they are suffering from disabling mental decline or have become severely impaired due to an accident or illness.

In all of these scenarios, the judge will make decisions based on what they believe to be in the best interests of the ward. After submitting your request, you must serve formal notice of your petition to specific parties, including relatives of the ward. The judge will hold a hearing, and interested parties will have a chance to object to the proposed arrangement. After reviewing the evidence and any relevant testimony, the judge will decide whether to grant the guardianship or conservatorship. 

Guardianship and Conservatorship Assistance in Idaho and Montana

At Freedom Law, we help families navigate the often-complex legal proceedings surrounding guardianships and conservatorships. Our Idaho Falls guardianship lawyers have over 15 years of experience and understand how Idaho and Montana courts approach these cases. We recognize that these situations are highly sensitive and can sometimes be contentious, which is why we aim to handle these matters as discreetly and compassionately as possible. Our firm will advocate for you throughout the legal process and work to swiftly resolve any disputes or issues that may arise.

Our Idaho Falls guardianship attorneys are extensively familiar with the level of evidence needed and how these cases are decided in Idaho and Montana. Our goal is to offer the guidance you need to protect your family, no matter their circumstances. We can assist with completing all relevant paperwork, filing it with the applicable court, and serving notice. Our team at Freedom Law will also represent you at your hearing and will help ensure you present a compelling argument to the court.

Need help obtaining a guardianship or conservatorship in Idaho or Montana? Contact us online or call (208) 271-4403 to discuss your case with our Idaho Falls guardianship lawyers.

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