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What is an attorney ad litem in the context of a conservatorship or guardianship petition?

Posted on Aug 19 2013 11:26PM by Attorney, Jason A. Lee

In Tennessee the court is required to appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the respondent (the minor or disabled person) when a petition for a guardianship or conservatorship is filed and that individual does not desire a guardianship or conservatorship.  Specifically, T.C.A. § 34-1-125 provides as follow:

 

(a) The court shall appoint an attorney ad litem to represent the respondent on the respondent's request, upon the recommendation of the guardian ad litem or if it appears to the court to be necessary to protect the rights or interests of the respondent. The attorney ad litem shall be an advocate for the respondent in resisting the requested relief.

(b) The cost of the attorney ad litem shall be charged against the assets of the respondent.

 

As a result, if the respondent requests an attorney ad litem then they are entitled to have one appointed to represent their interest to oppose the proposed conservatorship or guardianship.  Further, if the guardian ad litem recommends an attorney ad litem or it appears to the court that an attorney ad litem is necessary to protect the interest of the respondent, then one must be appointed under the Tennessee statute.  An attorney ad litem serves a role that is different from a guardian ad litem because the attorney ad litem acts as an advocate for the respondent in resisting the requested conservatorship or guardianship.

 

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TAGS: Tennessee Conservatorship, Guardian Ad Litem
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Jason A. Lee is a Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC. Contact Jason at 615-540-1004 or jlee@burrowlee.com for an initial consultation on wills estate planning and probate issues.

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Tennessee Wills and Estates Blog
Jason A. Lee, Member of Burrow Lee, PLLC
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Phone: 615-540-1004
E-mail: jlee@burrowlee.com

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