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Emergency Conservatorships and Guardianships: Pursuing Court Intervention and Orders, Litigation

Identifying Risk and Protective Factors, Standards of Review, Recent Case Law

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide elder law attorneys an in-depth analysis of legal, procedural, and administrative challenges of emergency conservatorships and guardianships. The panel will discuss critical issues in pursuing court intervention and orders, identifying risk and protective factors, and recent case law and standards of review, as well as offer techniques for conservatorship and guardianship litigation.


Guardianships, conservatorships, and other protective proceedings fall under the jurisdiction of the probate court. The probate court may appoint a guardian or conservator on behalf of a person if it finds a person to be incapacitated or in some cases, subject to undue influence. The proceedings for guardianship and conservatorship are rife with pitfalls, and elder law attorneys must navigate the nuances of pursuing or defending against claims.

A guardianship or a conservatorship is a court-supervised process for transferring an incapacitated individual's rights to someone capable of providing supervision regarding care or finances. The procedures involved can be daunting and require a careful analysis of the risks and factors requiring the need for court intervention, required court evaluations and hearings, and other essential matters that impact the proceedings.

These protective proceedings come with inherent risks that often result in litigation. Contested guardianships and conservatorships have been on the rise. A variety of issues beyond incapacity--such as financial abuse, fraud, misappropriation of assets, unacceptable accounting, and other critical issues--can be the basis for claims challenging the appointment or removal of a guardian or conservator. Attorneys must grasp these protective proceedings and available techniques to protect client interests.

Listen as our panel discusses the challenges in pursuing or defending against protective proceedings, recent case law, and standards of review, as well as provides practical techniques for conservatorship and guardianship litigation.



  1. Guardianship and other alternatives
    1. Protective proceedings and civil rights
    2. Court filings, service, notices
    3. Limitation of guardian powers and termination of authority
  2. Conservatorship
    1. Initiating the protective proceedings
    2. Appointment and bonding
    3. Managing the estate
    4. Action requiring court approval and voidable transactions
    5. Claims and accounting
  3. Court proceedings: key issues and techniques for elder law attorneys
  4. Recent case law and new state rules
    1. Rules for administering guardianship and conservatorships
    2. Transferring guardianship to another state and out-of-state recognition


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What are the key issues and requirements for establishing guardianships?
  • What is the process and pitfalls to avoid in initiating protective proceedings and seeking conservatorship?
  • What is the process to contest guardianship or conservatorship proceedings, and how to address them?
  • What techniques are available in overcoming issues in court proceedings?
  • What are the challenges in transferring guardianship to another state or acquiring out-of-state recognition?


Barton, Robert
Robert Barton

Holland & Knight

Mr. Barton is an attorney in Holland & Knight's Private Wealth Services Group. He represents individuals,...  |  Read More

Chau, Stacie
Stacie L. Chau

Holland & Knight

Ms. Chau's practice focuses on complex trusts and estates litigation. She also has experience with construction...  |  Read More

Evans, Aaron
Aaron Evans

Managing Partner
Evans Case

Mr. Evans' practices in the areas of probate administration, probate litigation, conservatorships &...  |  Read More

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