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Our Practice Areas
Vermillion Guardianship Protection
Conservatorship
and Vulnerable Protection
Guardianship protection refers to the legal process of appointing a guardian to protect and make decisions on behalf of an individual who is deemed incapable of managing their own affairs due to age, illness, or disability. Conservatorship, on the other hand, involves the appointment of a conservator to manage the financial and legal matters of an individual who is unable to handle their own financial affairs due to incapacity or vulnerability.
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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Vermillion Guardianships and Conservatorships

A guardian may be appointed for an individual whose ability to respond to people, events, and environments is impaired to such an extent that the individual lacks the capacity to meet the essential requirements for his health, care, safety, habilitation, or therapeutic needs without the assistance or protection of a guardian. A guardian for a minor may be appointed under this part if the minor meets the requirements of this section without regard to age and if the minor's need for guardianship will likely continue into his adult years.

A conservator may be appointed for an individual whose ability to respond to people, events and environments is impaired to such an extent that the individual lacks the capacity to manage property or financial affairs or to provide for their support or the support of legal dependents without the assistance or protection of a conservator. A conservator may be appointed for an absentee whose estate or financial affairs require the attention, supervision and care of a conservator. A conservator for a minor may be appointed under this part if the minor meets the requirements of this section without regard to age and if the minor's need for conservatorship will likely continue into his adult years.
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Experienced Vermillion
Guardianship and Conservatorship Representation

Denevan Falon Joyce represents clients in establishing guardianships or conservatorships for persons in need of protection. Denevan Joyce Falon also represents protected persons to understand their rights during a guardianship or conservatorship case.

The process of establishing a Conservatorship and/or Guardianship is as follows
Filing a Petition: A person interested in the welfare of an individual in need of protection can file a Petition to establish a guardianship and/or conservatorship. The Petition can ask for the appointment of a temporary guardian and/or conservator immediately if the facts warrant such an appointment.

Notice to Interested Parties: The individual that files the Petition (called a Petitioner) is required to provide notice to all other interested parties and the person in need of protection of the filing of the Petition and the subsequent hearings that will occur for the establishment of a Guardianship and/or Conservatorship.

Evaluation Report and Statement of Financial Resources: A Petition filed to establish a guardianship must be accompanied by an evaluation report signed by a treating or evaluating health care worker. If a conservatorship is being sought, the Petitioner must also file a statement of financial resources detailing the estate and sources of income for the person in need of protection

Guardian and Conservator Training and Background Checks: An individual that wishes to be appointed as a guardian or conservator must take an on-line guardianship course and submit to a state and federal background check.

Guardianship Hearings: A judge may conduct a short hearing if the matter is uncontested, or a trial if the matter is contested, to determine whether a guardianship or conservatorship is necessary and to determine who should be appointed as the guardian and conservator. Parties are allowed to examine and cross-examine witnesses, present documentary evidence and legal arguments to allow a judge or jury to decide the case.

Guardian ad Litem: In some cases, attorneys may serve as guardian ad litem, appointed by the court to represent the interests of the proposed ward and advocate for their best interests. A guardian ad litem may conduct investigations, evaluate the proposed guardian's suitability, and make recommendations to the court.

Representation of the Guardian and/or Conservator: Guardians and conservators have continuing responsibilities to report to the Court that appointed them on the welfare of the protected person as well as to account for their handling of the protected persons estate. Denevan Falon Joyce assists guardians and conservators in preparing, filing, serving, and seeking court approval of their reports and accountings.
Here are some of the advantages of having legal representation in guardianship cases:

Legal Knowledge: We possess extensive knowledge of Vermillion's guardianship/conservatorship laws. We can guide you through the process, ensuring compliance with all relevant statutes and court procedures.

Guidance and Advice: Particularly in contested cases, we can provide options, and advice on potential outcomes, helping you make informed decisions during the pendency of the case.

Smooth Process: The process of establishing a guardianship can be time-consuming to learn on your own and challenging to successfully complete without legal guidance. We can streamline the process by preparing the necessary paperwork, gathering the information necessary to meet the statutory requirements to establish a guardianship/conservatorship, providing notice to individuals entitled to notice and setting the hearings with the Court. .

Protection of Rights: One of the primary benefits we can offer during the guardianship/conservatorship process is to draft an order that is simple to understand so that the guardian and/or conservator can execute their duties well into the future.
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AN IN-DEPTH LOOK

Denevan Falon Joyce
Experience that Matters

Return of Vulnerable Adult: Denevan Falon Joyce represented children and a spouse of a vulnerable adult who was the subject of a temporary guardianship. The individual who petitioned for temporary guardianship removed the vulnerable adult from the state. After a multi-day trial, Denevan Falon Joyce was successful in having the vulnerable adult returned to his family in South Dakota.

Advocacy for Protected Persons: Denevan Falon Joyce has assisted numerous families establish guardianships and conservatorships for the express purposes of advocating for public-benefits eligibility for the protected person.

Preserving an Estate: Denevan Falon Joyce represented a family for the establishment of a conservatorship in a contested proceeding to protect a vulnerable adult from losing a significant portion of his estate and business to fraudster creditors. The work of the firm blocked the fraudsters from gaining access to the vulnerable adult's estate.

Medical Treatment: Denevan Falon Joyce assists families to establish guardianships in an effort to establish a system of substitute decision making that hospitals and other treatment facilities can recognize and rely upon so that they can provide much needed care to the protected person.
Financial Exploitation: Denevan Falon Joyce represented a vulnerable adult from financial predators who misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars. Denevan Falon Joyce was able to recover most of the assets and those assets provide for quality care to the vulnerable adult to this day.

Eliminating a Fiduciary Malfeasance: Denevan Falon Joyce has represented clients in cases where bad actors influenced a vulnerable adult to become their attorneys-in-fact, with the purpose of misappropriating assets of the vulnerable adult and cutting off the vulnerable adult from family and friends. Denevan Falon Joyce was successful invalidating the durable power of attorney document and establishing a guardianship/conservatorship, appointing a new individual who was a reliable and who would be a good steward of the vulnerable adults person and estate.

Ongoing Legal Support: Denevan Falon Joyce represents guardians and conservators in contested cases where family members disagree on the treatment of the vulnerable adult or the use of the vulnerable adults estate.

Find Answers to Common Inquiries
FAQs About Guardianships and Conservatorships
What is guardianship protection?

Guardianship protection refers to the legal process through which a guardian is appointed by the court to make decisions on behalf of an individual who is incapacitated or unable to make decisions for themselves due to age, disability, or other factors.

Who can file for guardianship in Vermillion?

Generally, anyone who is concerned about the well-being and welfare of an individual who is incapacitated or unable to make decisions can file for guardianship. This can include family members, caregivers, or concerned parties.

What are the requirements to become a guardian in Vermillion?

To become a guardian in Vermillion, you must be at least 18 years old, of sound mind, and capable of fulfilling the duties and responsibilities of a guardian. The court will also consider your relationship with the proposed ward and your ability to act in their best interests.

How is guardianship established in Vermillion?

Guardianship is established through a court process. The interested party files a petition for guardianship with the appropriate South Dakota court, providing information about the proposed ward's incapacity and the need for a guardian. The court will then evaluate the situation, hold a hearing, and determine if guardianship is necessary and who should be appointed as the guardian.

Can guardianship be terminated in Vermillion?

Yes, guardianship can be terminated in South Dakota. The court can terminate guardianship if it determines that the ward no longer requires a guardian, if the guardian fails to fulfill their duties, or if there are other valid reasons for termination. A petition must be filed with the court to request the termination of guardianship.

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