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What is a conservatorship?

On Behalf of | Nov 22, 2023 | Estate Planning & Probate, Family Law

If you have a loved one who is unable to manage their personal or financial affairs because of age, illness, disability or other condition, you may want to pursue a conservatorship. The court can appoint a conservator to help your loved one with decision-making.

Types of conservatorships

There are two types of conservatorships. A conservatorship of the person allows the conservator to make decisions for the individual’s personal care, like healthcare, their living situation and activities of daily life.

A conservatorship of the estate allows the conservator to manage the individual’s financial affairs, including transactions and overseeing their assets.

Conservator responsibilities

The court order will specify the conservator’s responsibilities. The conservator must act in the individual’s best interests and should make decisions that align with the individual’s preferences, if they are aware of those.

The conservator should be ethical and should fulfill their duties with integrity.

The conservator is responsible for ensuring that the individual’s resources are used for their benefit and must keep accurate, detailed records of all transactions. The court may require the conservator to make regular reports to ensure the conservator is acting in the individual’s best interest.

The conservator should also be prepared to regularly communicate with the individual’s family and other people involved in their care.

If the conservator plans to make a major decision for the individual, like selling a large asset or significantly changing the individual’s living situation, it may require court approval.

If the conservator’s circumstances change and they are no longer able to act, they can petition the court to appoint a new conservator.