Guardianship Procedures in NM
Establishing a Guardianship or Conservatorship is a somewhat involved procedure, and can be costly. There are several reasons for this, and almost all of them stem from this simple fact: since establishing a Guardian or a Conservatorship is such a serious deprivation of a person's rights, the law requires that a number of procedural safeguards be in place. For example, in every guardianship case the court is required to appoint an attorney known as the Guardian ad litem to represent the alleged incapacitated person. Additionally, the court must appoint a social worker known as the Court Visitor to investigate the circumstances of the alleged incapacitated person, and to report to the court. Last, the court must appoint a physician or other health care provider known as the Qualified Health Care Provider to evaluate the alleged incapacitated person, and to give an opinion as to the degree of incapacity, if any.
Last, in every guardianship/conservatorship case there must be a hearing with the alleged incapacitated person present.
All of these procedural safeguards, while adding to the cost of the proceedings, ensure that incapacitated persons are not deprived of their liberties without due process of law and adequate protection.