A person’s capabilities are prone to change during his or her lifetime. So in Texas, the law allows someone to step in and take care of the assets, needs and any other important aspects of the incapacitated person’s life. If you are interested in conservatorship, here is what you need to know about it, including its impacts on the conservatee.
What is a conservatorship?
A conservatorship is a legal arrangement in which the Texas court appoints a person (the conservator) to care for another person (the conservatee). The protected person may be unable to make decisions about his or her healthcare, finances or living arrangements due to mental illness, disability or old age.
The conservator is responsible for ensuring the basic needs of the protected person, such as food, shelter and medical care, are met. He or she may also be responsible for managing the protected person’s finances and property.
Difference between guardianship and conservatorship
Guardianship differs from conservatorship in the following ways.
- Probate court appoints a guardian to provide general personal care to another person.
- The appointed guardian doesn’t have the right to make decisions regarding the protected person’s finances as a conservator does.
The impact of a conservatorship
- A conservator is responsible for making all decisions about someone’s care and finances. The protected person may not be able to express his or her wishes or make his or her own decisions until the court dissolves the arrangement.
- The protected person may also lose his or her right to drive a car or own property. He or she may be required to live in a specific place or receive treatment from a particular doctor.
- In Texas, a conservatee has the right to vote. But if the court expressly limits his or her right depending on his or her specific circumstance, the person may not vote.
A conservatorship can be a difficult arrangement for both the conservator and the protected person. Ensure you understand the terms of the agreement and are prepared for the responsibilities before pursuing this option.