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How do conservatorships impact an elderly’s rights and autonomy?

On Behalf of | May 20, 2024 | Conservatorship

As family members age, there might be a greater need to assist them in managing their affairs. In some instances, this help comes in the form of a conservatorship. It is a legal arrangement wherein a court appoints a conservator to manage an elderly person’s matters. If you are considering conservatorship for an elderly family member, how can you balance their protection and freedom?

Profound effects on the elderly

A conservatorship aims to protect the elderly. On the other hand, it can also greatly impact their rights and autonomy. Below are some key areas where a conservator can cause profound effects:

  • Financial autonomy: They can restrict the elderly’s ability to control their assets when they manage the conservatee’s finances. Therefore, the elderly may no longer be able to buy or sell property, manage investments or make daily purchases.
  • Decision-making power: They may decide for the conservatee on their finances and health care. As a result, this can affect the elderly’s sense of free will.
  • Personal liberty: They can also limit personal liberties when they decide where the conservatee lives or who they interact with. This may lead to feelings of isolation or loss of control.
  • Privacy rights: Privacy can also be an issue when they can access the conservatee’s financial, medical and personal information. This might lead to a violation of the conservatee’s right to privacy.

However, it is crucial to note that a conservatorship seeks to strike a balance between protection and autonomy. In fact, the courts encourage conservators to involve conservatees in decision-making as much as possible and to respect their wishes and preferences.

Protecting the elderly’s best interests

Understanding the impact of conservatorship on the elderly’s rights and autonomy is crucial for those involved in the process. With legal guidance, you can deal with the complexities of the arrangement while ensuring the protection of your loved one’s best interests.