Spouses seeking a conservatorship of a spouse with dementia appear most often to be genuinely concerned about looking out for what is in the best interests of the incapacitated spouse. However, there are times when that is not the case, such as when the spouse physically and/or financially abuses the frail spouse.
Often in contested conservatorship cases it is the adult children who are fighting over control of the incapacitated parent/parents. In the most extreme cases, brotherly or sisterly love is replaced by sibling rivalry. Fortunately, through mediation families will sometimes come together and attempt to cooperate. Unfortunately, many times they will not come together, and unpleasant, expensive litigation ensues. The litigation can be highly charged and costly and can take a tremendous toll on the parent with dementia. The outcome of such family battles frequently leads to court appointed counsel recommending and the court appointing a private professional fiduciary to serve as conservator.
In many ways, contested conservatorship cases are a microcosm of the best and worst in human nature: running the full gamut from hate, abuse, greed, jealousy, selfish love, selfless love, etc., to unconditional love.