TN Legislature Changes Conservatorship Laws

After years of complaints being filed against conservators, the TN Senate unanimously voted to standardize the state’s approach to dealing with conservatorships. When one is placed under a conservatorship, that means that the disabled person is put under the control of another. The conservator can make medical and financial decisions for the disabled person, thus granting all conservators vast power over another individual.

This legislation would mandate that proposed wards be given notice within 48 hours of a Petition being filed, and the allegedly disabled person would be granted a court hearing within 5 days of the Petition being filed for an emergency conservatorship. This puts a protection in place for hte potential ward because judges will now be required to find that the ward would face substantial harm if a conservator were not appointed. Furthermore, this legislation will set up annual reviews in each conservatorship, allowing judges to determine if there continues to be a need for a conservator.

This law could be extremely important to those who would potentially be placed under a conservatorship because it protects their rights. When a conservator is appointed, the ward loses the ability to manage his or her own financial affairs, manage health care decisions, decide to marry, and it could even affect your capacity to execute other important legal documents, such as a will.

Under this new law, judges must specifically list all rights the ward retains and those that are being taken away.

If you or a loved one have been threatened with being placed under a conservatorship, contact my office today to schedule a free consultation and see if you will be able to keep this from happening. I have successfully terminated temporary conservatorships, giving people back their freedom and independence.

Although safeguards for conservatorships are needed, they also serve an important purpose. If you have a loved one that sufferes from a disability that keeps him or her from being able to make decisions for themselves (i.e. Alzheimer’s, dementia, Autism, etc.), contact our firm today to set up a free consultation and find out how you can Petition the court to become a conservator over that person.

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