What do I need to do to file conservatorship over my adult son?

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What do I need to do to file conservatorship over my adult son?

My son is 38 year old. He has been abusing drugs and is rarely lucid. He has started announcing that he is God and acting more and more irrational. I need to be sure his bills are paid because I won’t let him move back in his present condition.

Asked on November 14, 2011 under Estate Planning, Michigan

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your situation.  It must be very painful to see your son in this condition.  You are wise to be appointed as his guardian or conservator of the estate.  But you are going to need the help of an attorney.  The process is governed by a set of laws - in New York by the Mental Hygiene Law - and you would have to have him declared unfit to care for himself.  You would ask that he be placed in your care and then he is considered your ward.  Now, you would then have the right to commit him to a program to help with the drug abuse, which is really what you need to do rather than to have him  move in with you.  That sounds dangerous at this point for both of you.  Once you are appointed as the guardian of him and his estate you will be permitted to act legally on his behalf to pay his bills, etc., as well.  Good luck.


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