When your loved one is incapable of handling their affairs, whether financial or their own care, it may be time to consider a judicial conservatorship or guardianship of the person or the estate — especially if your loved one may be the subject of financial or elder abuse. Whether you need help analyzing whether a conservatorship is warranted or need help defending against a frivolous guardianship action, we can help.


What’s the Difference Between Conservatorship and Guardianship?

It’s easy to confuse guardianships and conservatorships because the meaning of the terms varies from state to state. It’s important to understand the differences between a conservatorship and a guardianship and the different legal processes that come with each. Depending on your situation, one arrangement will likely be more suitable than the other.

A conservatorship provides an adult with the legal authority to make financial decisions on behalf of another adult who has mental or physical limitations or an estate. This arrangement is most common for elderly adults or those with disabilities.

Meanwhile, adult guardianship grants an adult legal authority to make day-to-day decisions for incapacitated adults, operating similarly to a conservatorship. The guardian can be a guardian of the person or the estate.

In both conservatorships and guardianships, a person can be a conservator or guardian of a person or of an estate. A conservator or guardian of a person is responsible for making medical and personal decisions for their conservatee or ward. Meanwhile, a conservator or guardian of an estate only handles financial matters.

What Is A Conservatorship or a Guardianship Attorney?

Because the duties of conservators/guardians can be time-consuming and complicated, a conservatorship/guardianship attorney will be appointed. This may be the best choice in many cases, because conservators/guardians will need to attend court hearings, keep detailed records and file papers with the court on a regular basis.

How Much Does A Conservatorship or a Guardianship Attorney Cost?

Conservators are reimbursed for any expenses they incur, as well as being paid for the services they render. Payments come from the assets of the person they are taking care of, and must be deemed reasonable by the court.

A conservator/guardian must keep performing their duties until released by the court through an order ending their responsibilities. This will generally happen with the conservatee dies, no longer needs assistance, or if their assets have been depleted to the point they can no longer sustain the expenses associated with a conservatorship/guardianship.

Why Do You Need a Conservatorship or Guardianship Attorney?

There are several circumstances where a conservatorship or guardianship may be a viable option for promoting the well-being of a vulnerable individual. An attorney can be a valuable asset in a variety of situations that require establishing and navigating a conservatorship or guardianship.

Incapacity of an Adult

In the event that an adult is, or suddenly becomes, incapacitated, a conservatorship can be helpful for giving a trusted individual control over their affairs. A skilled attorney can provide guidance on the type of conservatorship that would be the most beneficial for the situation and how to navigate the process of establishing one.

Elderly Individuals

In some circumstances, elderly individuals may struggle to make financial decisions on their own due to age or mental incapacity. A conservator or guardian provides support in making these decisions with the best interest of these individuals in mind. An attorney will be able to provide guidance in navigating the steps to establish a conservatorship that promotes the individual’s well-being.

Dispute Resolution

In a conservatorship or guardianship, disputes may arise surrounding a range of potential concerns. For example, there may be disagreements around the distribution of the vulnerable individual’s assets among heirs or surrounding the actions of the conservator or guardian. A conservatorship/guardianship attorney can offer representation in either defending against or establishing the legitimacy of disputes.

Legal Expertise

From understanding the responsibilities of a conservator/guardian to managing the documentation required by the court, conservators/guardians must consider several important factors to remain aligned with the law. It can be difficult to navigate these processes alone. At RMO Lawyers, we can offer our legal expertise to support conservators/guardians and other interested parties in sustaining a successful arrangement.

Annual Reporting and Compliance

Conservators/guardians must report back to the court periodically to demonstrate that they are acting within the conservatee’s best interests and not taking advantage. Our attorneys can assist in gathering the appropriate documentation and preparing to go before the court.

Common Conservatorship & Guardianship Matters

From obtaining a conservatorship or guardianship to terminating one of these arrangements, there are many matters where an attorney can be helpful in supporting vulnerable individuals and their loved ones. We assist clients in all of the following conservatorship and guardianship matters and more.


If a loved one experiences a sudden medical event or injury that limits their mental or physical capacity, they may not be able to make important decisions regarding their finances and medical needs on their own. A conservatorship or guardianship may be the best choice for their well-being. Our attorneys can help you navigate the process of establishing a conservatorship or guardianship and explore the different options available for your situation.


In some situations, a vulnerable individual or a loved one may contest the idea of establishing a conservatorship or guardianship. Disagreements may also arise surrounding who should act as the conservator or guardian. Our conservatorship lawyers can represent the objecting party in building a case against a conservatorship or guardianship by presenting evidence and assisting in navigating court proceedings.


In cases of negligence or misconduct on the part of the conservator or guardian, a party may want to remove a conservator or guardian. This process can be lengthy and requires evidence and a petition to the court. We’ll represent the party seeking removal and seek evidence to advocate for the well-being of the incapacitated person or guardian.


In circumstances where a conservator or guardian may be acting irresponsibly or failing to attend to an individual’s needs, the conservatee or ward or their loved ones may seek to have the conservator or guardian replaced. Our team of lawyers will identify any actions of misconduct, guide the replacement party, ensure compliance with the conservatorship’s terms, and advocate for the individual’s well-being.


Conservatorships and guardianships may be terminated in situations where it is no longer necessary or suitable for the individual. For example, maybe the conservatorship/guardianship was established under false pretenses, or the vulnerable individual has regained their mental capacity. Our lawyers will offer representation for the party seeking termination, assisting in filing the necessary documentation and presenting evidence for a successful termination request.

What Is The Process Of Conservatorship & Guardianship Litigation?

To establish a valid conservatorship or guardianship, a party must follow set steps and legal procedures. RMO Lawyers can help you with the following steps of the process of conservatorship and guardianship litigation.

1. Consultation and Assessment

An initial consultation is valuable for determining whether a conservatorship or guardianship is a viable option for your situation. Our attorneys will offer guidance in assessing the situation, gathering pertinent information, and discussing potential legal strategies and next steps.

2. Filing the Petition

Establishing a conservatorship or guardianship starts with filing the appropriate forms for your jurisdiction with the court. These forms will outline the reason for the request, details about the conservator, and details about the proposed conservatee or ward. Our conservatorship/guardianship attorneys at RMO will help you prepare these forms and outline the reasoning for court intervention.

3. Court Hearing and Evaluation

After filing the petition, a court hearing will offer the opportunity for a judge to review the petition or application, consider any objections, and determine whether to grant legal authority. Our attorneys will provide representation during this process to help establish a strong case for the conservatorship/guardianship and present the appropriate supporting evidence.

4. Objecting or Contesting

This process occurs if there are objections or disagreements surrounding the conservatorship or guardianship. If you disagree with a proposed arrangement or are facing an objection yourself, a skilled attorney can help you develop your case and provide evidence in your favor to advocate for the best interest of the vulnerable individual.

5. Negotiation or Mediation

In some instances, family disputes or disagreements may arise around who should be appointed as the conservator or the terms of the arrangement. Negotiation or mediation can help resolve these conflicts outside of the courtroom, and a lawyer can assist in the process to bring a resolution that satisfies all parties while promoting the best interests of the vulnerable individual.

6. Full-Scale Litigation

Sometimes, negotiation and mediation are not enough to satisfy all parties, and full-scale litigation through court may be the only option for finding a resolution to disagreements amongst family members or other interested parties. Our lawyers can represent you in these legal battles, prepare a case against disputes, gathering appropriate evidence to support your case.

7. Appeals (if necessary)

After a conservatorship/guardianship is validated by the court, there may be parties that decide to appeal the decision for a variety of reasons, but the appellant must have legal grounds for the appeal. Appellants should seek an attorney to provide support in the process. Our attorneys offer support in filing and establishing a strong appeal by gathering the valid evidence and documentation necessary.

8. Compliance and Reporting

Once the conservatorship/guardianship is established, the conservator/guardians must attend periodic court hearings, maintain detailed records of their arrangement, and file papers with the court on a regular basis. An experienced attorney can be a valuable resource in this process by helping conservators/guardians remain in compliance.

Our Case Results

RMO has a proven track record of protecting people and defending legacies.

Online Romance Fraud Halted
Established an emergency conservatorship of the estate of a divorcee who had been ensnared by Nigerian fraudsters,who had infiltrated, isolated, defrauded and unduly influenced her into sending them millions, leaving her destitute and unable to buy food.
Conservatee Protected, Financial Advisor Fraudster Barred from Industry
Represented a court-appointed guardian ad litem in securing a prosecution agreement with counsel for the conservator of an institutionalized dementia patient who was taken advantage of financially by her financial advisor, leading to his permanent bar from the financial services industry.
Protected Elder Father from His Own Daughters
On behalf of his wife, established conservatorship of an elderly man over the protests of his daughters, who were his attorneys-in-fact and nominated conservators, living rent-free in his properties, and had repeatedly threatened to withhold caregiving. Secured ex parte suspension of the daughters’ powers of attorney and appointment of a private professional fiduciary to protect dad, which was granted by probate court.
Grandmother Safeguarded
Secured appointment of a private professional fiduciary for grandmother on behalf of grandson, and over the objections of grandson’s aunt, who, along with her husband, had been exploiting grandma financially, securing grandma’s return home and well being.
Guardianships for Kidnapped Parent
In two separate cases, established a guardianship for our client on behalf of their parent after the parent was secretly moved across state lines by our clients’ siblings so the kidnapping sibling could take financial advantage of the parent.
Conservatorship Thwarted
Defeated wife’s attempt to have herself appointed as conservator for husband when dad resisted wife’s efforts to unduly influence him to change his estate plan in her favor.
Conservatorship Financial Abuser Defeated
Defeated financial abusing neighbor’s attempts to establish himself as conservator for his elderly neighbor, from whom he had transferred her properties into his name, added himself to her accounts, and changed her estate planning documents to name himself as executor, trustee and sole beneficiary.
Parents Protected from Feuding Daughters
Represented the private professional fiduciary appointee in securing appointment in contested conservatorships for mom and dad where the parents had become the victims of their daughters’ infighting and efforts to control them and their finances.
Two Dads Protected from their Feuding Sons
In separate cases, secured appointment of a private professional fiduciary to serve as conservator for each dad to protect him from a ne'er do well son who was taking advantage of him financially.
Conservatorship for Wandering Mom
On behalf of daughter, established conservatorship for mom, whose dementia manifested itself in part in wandering, over the objection of mom’s live-in boyfriend, who failed to protect mom from wandering and, investigation showed, was taking financial advantage of mom.
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Who Can Hire a Guardianship or 

Conservatorship Attorney

At RMO Lawyers, we have experience in supporting several different interested parties surrounding conservatorship or guardianship. Our conservatorship and guardianship attorneys support clients in a variety of circumstances in navigating these legal arrangements.


A conservator or guardian is a person appointed by the court to make financial or medical decisions on behalf of a conservatee or ward when they struggle to provide care for themselves. Our attorneys provide support for conservators and guardians in navigating the necessary legal procedures to ensure the best interests of the conservatee.



A private professional fiduciary is a licensed, third-party professional who can be appointed as a conservator when family dynamics make it difficult to appoint family members. As with any conservatorship, the professional is expected to act within the best interests of the conservatee. RMO Lawyers can provide representation for navigating the legal processes of a conservatorship or offer defense in the event of accusations of wrongdoing.



If an adult has a trust, a trustee is the person responsible for managing the trust’s assets. A trust document can defeat the need for a conservatorship of the estate, or the trustee may have priority to act as the conservator. Our attorneys can support trustees in navigating legal processes or disputing claims of breach of fiduciary duty.



Be advised that the RMO Client Relations Team will reach out prior to your scheduled time, as our policy requires that we gather additional information concerning the parties to your case before we can confirm your consultation. In the event that we are unable to reach you, regrettably, we will need to cancel your requested consultation.

Communication Disclaimer

Please note that communications by you to RMO LLP or any of its lawyers through this website do not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the firm. Do not send any privileged or confidential information to the firm through this website or otherwise until instructed in writing from us to do so. 

Learn More

How to Fight Conservatorship Abuse

Fighting conservatorship abuse is a complex and emotionally-charged topic. Seeing a loved one ignored or taken advantage of by the person or persons charged with caring for them is extremely disappointing and difficult. In the following, we’ll cover how to file a petition to suspend or remove an abusive conservator, and how a conservatorship attorney may use litigation to secure a new conservator or to terminate a conservatorship altogether.

How To Contest a Conservatorship and Win

You may need to hire a conservatorship lawyer to contest a conservatorship when a conservator is abusing or exploiting their authority for personal gain. It’s always painful to see a loved one becomes incapacitated due to injury, illness, or a neurological condition. It can be even more difficult when the disabled individual has no power of attorney in place, making it necessary for the courts to appoint a conservator to make vital financial and personal decisions on their behalf.

Unfortunately, some conservators abuse or exploit their authority, often for personal gain, or otherwise act in ways that are detrimental to the conservatee’s interests and the interests of their beneficiaries. Here’s a guide on how to contest conservatorships in court, and win.



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