Voices For The Vulnerable In Guardianship And Conservatorship Law

Any family can become concerned that they may need to establish a guardianship and/or conservatorship over a loved one. A number of physical, cognitive and developmental disabilities, including Alzheimer's disease and elderly dementia, can eventually result in an adult becoming legally incapacitated — and that makes them vulnerable to abuse and financial exploitation.

Adults are only considered legally incapacitated if something prevents them from caring for their own basic needs or managing their finances without assistance. If someone is simply not able to handle their financial affairs, they may need a conservator. If they are not able to make day-to-day decisions affecting their welfare, a guardian may be called for.

A guardianships and/or conservatorship may also be appropriate once a child with a developmental or cognitive disability reaches age 18.

Who Decides Whether Someone Needs A Guardian Or Conservator?

We all cherish our autonomy, and no one should lose their independence without clear evidence of incapacity — but who decides? In Virginia, when a loved one petitions the circuit court for guardianship or conservatorship, a certified guardian ad litem for incapacitated adults is appointed to work solely in the best interests of the respondent (the allegedly incapacitated person). This guardian ad litem is a lawyer who has been specially trained and certified by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Attorney Mandy M. Rogers is a certified guardian ad litem for incapacitated adults. Virginia circuit court judges frequently appoint her to advocate for people who may be incapacitated, but you can also take advantage of her services. If you are considering petitioning for a guardianship or conservatorship over a loved one, you may ask the court to appoint her. Her fees in such cases are typically drawn from the respondent's estate.

As an experienced conservatorship and guardianship attorney, she can also be hired directly to represent either the petitioner or the respondent in initial petitions, actions to modify guardianships or conservatorships, and appeals.

Very few family law attorneys are willing to handle appeals, but at M. Rogers & Associates, we are ready, willing and able to pursue a just and compassionate outcome at the appellate level. In fact, in 2016 Mandy Rogers appealed a conservatorship case before the Virginia Supreme Court and won.

When people become incapacitated, they are vulnerable. Incapacity takes away your ability to care for yourself — and to protect yourself. At the same time, no one should have restrictions placed on their decision-making unless those restrictions are truly needed. At M. Rogers & Associates, we are committed to helping individuals and families make the right decisions about guardianships and conservatorships.

Contact M. Rogers & Associates, PLLC, For A Free Initial Consultation

If you are concerned about a loved one's capacity, we can help you understand the options and make a caring, considered choice about a guardianship or conservatorship. If you have been notified of a petition seeking guardianship or conservatorship over you, please call us for information and advice. We are happy to provide a free 30-minute consultation.

Our office is located in Chesapeake, Virginia, in front of Greenbrier Mall with plenty of free parking. To schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys, please call 757-271-3434 or complete our online contact form.