Probate Court, Citizens Alliance offer training for guardians and conservators

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, by 2030 there will be 70.3 million Americans who are age sixty-five and older--nearly two times that of today. Due to medical advancements, Americans are living longer lives. As the years increase, so do the number of those developing age-related cognitive impairments and the need for an appointed guardian or conservator.

A guardian or conservator is an individual appointed by the court to make personal (guardian) or financial (conservator) decisions for a person who has been declared by the court as incapacitated or in need of protection. Guardians and conservators are not just appointed for seniors. They are also sought for younger adults who are physically disabled or mentally incapable of making important decisions.

In 2005, the Citizens Alliance for Oakland County Probate and Circuit Courts identified a need to assist the Probate Court in the training of new guardians and conservators to ensure that they have been provided with methods for effectively fulfilling their legal responsibilities. In conjunction with the Probate Court, the Citizens Alliance developed the "Basic Training for Guardians" and "Basic Training for Conservators" seminars in response to this need.

The Probate Court and Citizens Alliance announce the upcoming training sessions. On Wednesday, Aug. 4, a basic training for conservators, directed by attorney Michael J. Hughes, will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. On the following Wednesday, Aug. 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., attorney Thomas B. Fraser will provide practical information on acting as a guardian (for adults). The seminars will be held in courtroom W3, located in the west wing extension of the Oakland County courthouse at 1200 N. Telegraph Road in Pontiac.

Each session will consist of information on procedures and instruction on how to complete and submit the forms required to communicate with the Probate Court. Although legal advice in specific personal situations will not be provided, practical information on handling many situations will be offered along with a question and answer period immediately following each presentation. These seminars are offered monthly at no cost as a service for all who are interested. Pre-registration is not required.

Chief Probate Judge Judge Eugene Arthur Moore said "Many family members will greatly benefit from the training in helping them be a good guardian and conservator for a loved one."

The commitment of the Citizen's Alliance and Probate Court to training guardians and conservators has been matched by the commitment of attorneys Timothy Flynn, Thomas Fraser, and Michael Hughes who voluntarily give their time and effort in teaching the classes.

Additional information may be obtained at www.oakgov.com/probate/program_service/ or by contacting the Probate Court at (248) 858-5603.

Published: Fri, Jul 16, 2010