Challenges to Conservatorships

Conservators are appointed by the Probate Court to assist individuals who are found to be incapable of caring for themselves and/or their property. They can play an important part in helping individuals with psychiatric disabilities manage aspects of daily living, such as paying bills, if they are unable to handle it themselves. However, conservators can exercise much control over an individual’s life, and that can sometimes interfere with the person’s ability to become as independent and self-sufficient as possible. Changes in the Connecticut conservatorship statute that went into effect on October 1, 2007 shift the emphasis to ensuring that people maintain as much independence and control over their decision-making as possible. This should help to ensure that conservators do not make decisions for people when they have the capacity to make those decisions themselves. Therefore, it is important that persons with psychiatric disabilities understand their rights as they relate to conservators.

Because appointing a conservator limits an individual’s freedoms, the State has established guidelines and procedures to assure that the rights of individuals are protected before a conservator is appointed.