Posted by: Bryan Jones on 02/20/2017

What Is A Conservatorship?

What Is A Conservatorship?

Coming to grips with a parent growing older can be can be difficult and emotional for both you and your love one.  As your elderly love ones health decline and grow older they will need more and more assistance with their everyday affairs.  Most seniors struggle with the loss of their independence and some may be come difficult to deal with as a result.  


At some point a decision will have to made on how to handle the affairs of your aging parents or love ones.  It is better to plan early so the best possible decision can be made.  A conservatorship provides the most protection for your parents and their property.  A conservatorship is a legal process of appointing someone to make personal decisions and to manage the property of an incapacitated individual. A conservatorship must be setup by a court and in doing so the court will appoint a conservator to take care of the Conservatee.


A court will appoint a conservator if it is proved in court that the person is substantially unable to manage his/her own financial resources or resist fraud or undue influence.  Some states require  affidavits from  medical professionals stating that based on the person’s physical and/or mental condition they are unable to attend to their own business.


The appointed conservator is usually a family member but a friend may also be appointed. The court has to make a finding that the proposed conservator is a fit and proper person to serve.  Some state laws forbid  convicted felons from serving as a conservator.   Private professional conservators may also be appointed where there is no family member or friend available who is able or willing to take care of the conservatee.


Unlike a power of attorney which can authorize the power of attorney holder to carry out certain tasks on behalf of the conservatee, it cannot prevent the ill person from contracting or conveying property. However, with a conservatorship, once a conservator of the estate is appointed, the conservatee can no longer enter into contracts except for basic necessities. Most states require the conservator to perform an annual accounting the conservatee’s estate.


A conservatorship is usually initiated by someone close to the incapacitated person. The actual proceeding is done by filing a petition to appoint a conservator with the proper court.   In most states the assistance of attorney is needed to appoint an conservator.  Usually the court would allow the cost of the conservatorship to be paid from the estate of the conservatee, if funds to do so are available.


Contact This Member

Join our Mailing List to Receive Marketing Tips