Establishing a conservator for a mentally ill loved one

In past posts, we have discussed the necessity of appointing someone to take over the financial and personal care of elderly relatives who have become unable to make their own decisions. Many of these cases involve loved ones reaching the end of their lives, who are suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia. However, it may become necessary for you to appoint someone to oversee the interests of a younger family member who is incapacitated due to mental illness. While this is often an unpleasant and awkward situation, at the Bingham Legal Group PC, we understand that appointing a conservator for a mentally ill loved one may help to put Detroit families’ minds at ease.

According to the Special Needs Alliance, it requires a court action to appoint a conservator over a mentally ill person, especially if you are attempting to take this step against your family member’s wishes. Your relative may suffer from severe depression, schizophrenia or another mental impairment that leaves him or her unable to make sound decisions. This impairment could be permanent, or it could be intermittent, especially if your relative accepts treatment occasionally. Your relative may need to be admitted to a mental health facility to prove impairment; however, a judge may also make a decision by consulting with therapists, talking with your loved one or speaking with you and other family members.

A conservatorship does not have to be permanent. If your relative seeks mental help and can regain his or her mental faculties, the conservatorship may be rescinded. Appointing a conservator is often a difficult and heartbreaking decision, but may be one of the best ways to protect your loved one while seeking necessary help. You may learn more by visiting our page on guardianship and conservatorship.