The areas of probate and family law are generally thought of by many as mutually exclusive legal concentrations, with many believing that probate is exclusively concerned with legal matters involving death. While there are indeed certain functions that each of these courts serve that are separate from one another, there are actually more similarities than one might initially think. In the state of Connecticut, probate courts are actually afforded the power to decide many issues normally associated with family courts, such as the authority to establish guardianships of minors and conservatorships of disabled persons.
Guardianships in Connecticut
While guardianships are often handled in family courts in many other states, establishing guardianships for children under the age of 18 is handled in probate court in Connecticut. When a child’s parents are unable to appropriately care for them, whether as a result of death or some other reason, probate courts may appoint a guardian to assume this responsibility. Guardianships of minors can be either of their personal care or their estate, with multiple guardians, co-guardians, and temporary guardianships being possible depending on the specific situation. Likewise, the removal of a guardian is also handled in probate court.
Conservatorships in Connecticut
Probate courts also retain the power to appoint a guardian for an adult in the event that they should become incapacitated or otherwise unable to care for themselves, known as a conservator. Conservatorships are necessary in situations where an adult is unable to receive or interpret information to form or communicate decisions that affect their physical health, safety, or financial wellbeing, such as those with severe mental disabilities or elderly dementia. Conservatorships can either be involuntary or voluntary, or like guardianships, be of the person, their estate, or both. In many cases, probate courts will appoint a family member or close friend of the individual to act as their conservator.
If you are looking to become a guardian or conservator of a loved one, the knowledgeable Hamden and New Haven probate attorneys at Goldblatt, Marquette & Rashba, PC can provide the steadfast guidance you need to navigate through the probate system with ease. With more than 60 years of experience practicing both probate and family law, we have the track record and knowledge you need to maximize your chances of success.
To find out more about how we can assist you, call (203) 687-4050 or schedule an initial case review online today.