How can I get conservatorship over my boyfriend?

1 answer | Last updated: Jan 22, 2012
Robyn asked...

How can I get conservership of my boyfriend who was injured in a car wreck? He has children he didn't raise who have not been in his life for many years who are now asking the nurse station not to let me in. I lived with my boyfriend for the pass year and a half, and I know he would not want them to be making any decisions for him. I was the one who found out where they were and let them know what had happened.  I guess I shouldn't have.

Expert Answers

Barbara Repa, a senior editor, is an attorney, a journalist specializing in aging issues, and the author of Your Rights in the Workplace (Nolo), now in its 10th edition.

While you may now be sorry you alerted your boyfriend's kids about his medical problem, it was the right thing to do, and earns you lots of good karma points.

A conservatorship, sometimes called an adult guardianship, gives you the legal right to make necessary decisions on behalf of an adult who cannot live independently. It allows you to oversee or personally be responsible for his care, custody, and control. But laws in every state provide specific criteria for evaluating whether a person qualifies for a guardianship -- and this legal arrangement requires some paperwork and a court hearing. You will have to explain who you are the best person for the job. And you should be prepared that your boyfriend's kids may fight you for it. It will be up to the court to decide.

Whether you may need to hire an attorney for help with this process depends on where you live. Courts in some places have established some very good self-help centers that provide necessary forms and instructions for how to complete and file them. Find out by doing a search of your city or county and the words "conservatorship" or "guardianship."

If your court does not provide good help, or the idea of going it alone just seems too overwhelming, you should be able to get referrals for experienced legal help through the local or state bar association.