The Code of Virginia provides a well-established judicial process to ensure due process to an individual that must respond to a protective proceeding. This process is commonly referred to as a Guardianship and/or Conservatorship.
When an individual is at great risk for exploitation by others (financial or physical) or is a risk to themselves, a guardianship or conservatorship may be the best method to ensure the individual is protected. In most situations, a well drafted durable general power of attorney and advance medical directive are sufficient to allow an agent to act on behalf of the vulnerable individual. However, when an individual cannot meet the essential requirements for their health, care, safety, or therapeutic needs without assistance or manage their property or financial affairs or provide for their support or for the support of their legal dependents without assistance, then the appointment of a guardian or conservator may be the best solution.
There are numerous alternatives to the appointment of a guardian or conservator for an individual, and every situation is different. A thorough review of these alternatives will ensure the least restrictive means are utilized to provide for the safety and protection of the individual, their means of support and assets. Having a consultation with an elder law attorney can provide a review of the factual basis to make an informed decision in these serious and sometimes emotional matters.
Our firm represents the petitioner or respondent in protective proceedings. Additionally, we serve as Guardian ad Litem for incapacitated adults in these matters.