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Mental Health and Elder Law

Nashville Mental Health Lawyer

Over the last several years, I have served as attorney ad litem or guardian ad litem in dozens of mental health hearings involving a variety of issues: involuntary committals, conservatorship petitions, probable cause, and violations of mandatory outpatient treatment programs (known as MOT’s). I understand the stress, pain and frustration that mental illness can cause for a family and for the individual living with the illness. Things can often be exacerbated by the traumatic but necessary involvement of the legal system. I can guide you and your family through the legal process and be sure that your rights as a Tennessean living with mental illness are properly represented.

Nashville Conservatorship Lawyer

In Tennessee, the process of the court appointing someone to make decisions for another person is called a “conservatorship.” The appointment of a Conservatorship in Tennessee requires “clear and convincing evidence that the disabled person is fully or partially disabled and that the disabled person is in need of assistance from the court.” The process requires a physician to examine the disabled person within the 90 days before the petition is filed, and the doctor’s report will be submitted as evidence of the disability. After the petition is filed, an attorney will be appointed Guardian Ad Litem by the Court to investigate the facts of the case and report to the Court as independent third party.

Who should be appointed Conservator?

There is a default hierarchy in Tennessee, subject to the Court’s opinion of what is in the best interests of the disabled person, for individuals to be considered as a conservator of the disabled person: 1) individual’s designated by the disabled person in writing; 2) the spouse; 3) a child; 4) close relatives; and 5) anyone else appropriate. Being appointed conservator is a serious responsibility. Our office can guide you through this difficult process and advise you of your continuing duties as a conservator, such as filing annual accounting reports with the Court.