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Guardianship and Conservatorship


        Barbara Lloyd Kessinger handles Guardianship and Conservatorship in Prince William, Fairfax, Fauquier, Loudoun, and Culpeper Counties. This is an area of legal services that intersects both special needs law and elder law. Ms. Kessinger represents, as petitioners, individuals who care for someone who meets Virginia’s statutory definition of incapacity.


        Although these proceedings often are viewed as ‘last resort’ measures, sometimes it does become necessary or advisable for relatives to petition a Circuit Court for Guardianship of their loved ones and/or for Conservatorship of their assets.


        For example, if an incapacitated person has medical or health care challenges and he or she has not signed a Medical Power of Attorney previously, a Guardian may be needed. A Guardian is a court-appointed fiduciary who oversees the disabled individual’s personal and medical needs.


        Further, when an incapacitated person has resources and he or she has not signed a Financial Power of Attorney previously, a Conservator also may be needed. A Conservator is a court-appointed fiduciary who manages the disabled individual’s assets and income.


        Usually there are specific circumstances -- such as when a teenaged child with a disability approaches the age of 18 or when an older adult suddenly becomes disabled – that motivate the petition for Guardianship and/or Conservatorship.


        Ms. Kessinger also serves as a Guardian ad litem attorney on behalf of incapacitated adults.  She is authorized to receive appointments in the 31st Judicial Circuit Court of Prince William County and in the 20th Judicial Circuit Court of Loudoun County.


Visit the Special Needs Advocacy, Estate Planning, and Special Needs Trusts sections of this website for more information.