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Lebanon, Tennessee 37087
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Tennessee Code Annotated 34-1-101 et al, defines a conservatorship as a proceeding that enables the court to provide partial or full supervision, protection and assistance of the person or property of a disabled person. The person appointed by the court to perform this task is known as a conservator. The process is initiated by filing a petition with the court stating that because of a disability, an individual needs to have a conservator appointed to oversee their person and/or property. The petition must be accompanied by a Physician's Report signed by a Tennessee licensed physician or psychologist certifying that the person is suffering from a disability that is rendering him or her incompetent and that he or she has been examined by the physician or psychologist within ninety (90) days of filing the petition. The court may also, within the court's discretion, appoint a Guardian Ad Litem ("GAL"). The GAL represents the interests of the disabled person and must be an attorney licensed in the state of Tennessee. The GAL owes a duty to the court to impartially investigate the facts to support a conservatorship, review the property management plan and report the facts to the court. The GAL is not an advocate for the disabled person but has a duty to determine what is in the disabled person's best interests. Upon conclusion of the investigation, the GAL is required to prepare a written report to the court of the findings before the date set for the hearing and make a recommendation for the need of a conservator, whether the proposed conservator should be appointed and whether the disabled person contests the appointment of a conservator. If the court appoints a conservator, the conservator is responsible for keeping the court apprised of the activities of the disabled person, including annual accountings, if necessary and any changes in the disabled person's disability or residence.