What happens in a Guardianship and Conservatorship proceeding?
First, someone interested in the financial affairs and/or the well-being of a person believed to be incapacitated must file a legal petition with the Probate court and pay the required court filing fee. The person believed to be in need of a Guardian or Conservator is called the “Respondent.” The person who files the legal petition is call the “Petitioner.”
The petition must also be accompanied by a Notice to the Respondent and to any other interested person who must be notified of the pending legal action. The Respondent and any other interested person may file an objection with the court opposing the petition upon receiving notice of the Guardianship or Conservatorship case. The objection must be filed with the court within 15 days of receiving notice of the petition and must be submitted with the required filing fee.
After the petition has been filed, the court will appoint a “court visitor,” who will interview the respondent and any other interested persons with information concerning the petition. The court visitor will then provide a written report of their findings to the court along with a recommendation as to whether or not the visitor believes that appointment of a Guardian or Conservator is appropriate.