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Conservatorships may benefit physically, mentally disabled

Florida families with an adult member who is unable to take care of himself or herself may wonder if a person can be designated to handle their affairs. Conservatorships are often the perfect solution in these cases. In a conservatorship, a conservator is designated to make decisions and care for the conservatee.

A conservatorship is typically set up through an estate planning attorney through the probate court. It may benefit an elderly family member with dementia or an adult child that has a mental or physical disability. Setting up a conservatorship can give family members peace of mind. Several different types of conservatorships can be designated through a state's probate court depending on the needs of the loved one.

A general conservatorship gives more power to the conservator than a limited conservatorship. A general conservatorship is typically used in those who aren't able to care for themselves and can't take care of their financial affairs. Limited conservatorships are best for developmentally disabled individuals who rely on government assistance. A limited conservator can oversee living decisions and daily care but has less financial oversight than those with a general conservatorship. Forms and interviews are required by the probate court in most states for conservatorships. Because the process can be lengthy, experts typically recommend that those desiring a conservatorship set it up as soon as possible.

Caring for a loved one with a physical or mental disability is a loving task that many find fulfilling. Acting as a conservator is one way of caring for an individual who is unable to care for themselves. An estate planning attorney may be able to help set up a guardianship or conservatorship. For example, an adult with Down's syndrome may require a limited conservatorship by a sibling. This will allow the sibling to help the adult with daily care and living issues while not having to oversee their financial affairs.

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