Guardianship Procedures in New Mexico
Establishing a Guardianship or Conservatorship in New Mexico is a complex procedure, and can be both time-consuming and costly. Because establishing a guardianship or a conservatorship involves a serious deprivation of a person’s rights, the law requires that a number of procedural safeguards are in place.
Procedural Safeguards for a Guardianship or Conservatorship
- The Court is required to appoint an attorney known as the Guardian ad litem to represent the alleged incapacitated person.
- The Court is required to appoint a social worker known as the Court Visitor to investigate the circumstances of the alleged incapacitated person and report their findings to the Court.
- The Court is required to appoint a physician or other health care provider known as the Qualified Health Care Provider to evaluate the alleged incapacitated person and provide their medical opinion as to the degree of incapacity if any.
- Family members must be given notice.
- There must always be a Court hearing in which the alleged incapacitated person is present.
Safeguards Provide Protection
While these procedural safeguards add to the cost of the guardianship or conservatorship proceedings, they ensure that incapacitated persons are not deprived of their liberty without due process of law and adequate protection.