Adult Guardianship

We represent Guardians and Conservators in Elder Care, Elder Support, and Elder Abuse cases.  Typically our client would be a son or daughter seeking legal authority to act on behalf of a parent who may be in ill health and/or experiencing memory loss and inability to properly care for himself or herself.  We also help set up third party care and support of an elder family member when necessary. 

Adult Guardianships

Elder guardianship law involves the process of judicial assessment of the ability of an adult to manage their affairs and their person and in the event that a court finds that they cannot, to appoint a guardian of the person. A guardianship is a legal right given to a person to be responsible for the food, health care, housing, and other necessities of a person deemed fully or partially incapable of providing these necessities for the ward.

The Kouten Law Firm represents clients seeking guardianship over relatives who can no longer handle their own affairs. Typically, a family member will come to us looking for a legal appointment so that they can legally prove that they have authority to act on behalf of the incapacitated party. This is very important when the ward is faced with having to make medical decisions that he or she cannot understand. The hospital or care facility will look to one with authority when it comes to acting on behalf of the ward. 

We also represent family members who may object to a guardianship proceeding brought by a local government agency. Several municipalities have elder support units working in conjunction with the police department. If the elder support coordinator deems the elder party is in need of care, an action for guardianship appointment may be brought by that agency.

When that determination is made, rarely does the agency look to the family for assistance.  More likely than not, the agency will deem that the family has failed on some level because had they been attentive to the needs of the elderly family member, the police would not have been called. We often help families seek appointment in these cases.


The Guardian cares for the person. The Conservator protects the assets.

We represent clients, usually family members, seeking conservatorship over relatives who can no longer handle their own financial affairs. A conservatorship is created by the appointment of a conservator by the court. This is typically done in conjunction with the appointment of the Guardian but not always. A conservator is a person or entity appointed by a court to manage the property, daily affairs, and financial affairs of another person. When the court has deemed someone fully or partially incapable of handling his or her own financial affairs, the appointment of a Conservator is appropriate. This incapacity can be mental or physical. More times than not, our clients are dealing with parents who are suffering from memory loss, dementia and Alzheimer’s dementia.

There are certain requirements and duties that a Conservator must follow. Other options are available which would not require court intervention. Call today for a free consultation. It is always best if your loved one can be a part of the process of planning. It may be that a Power of Attorney is an appropriate solution.