Conservatorships

Setting up a conservatorship is a long and complex process. Before filing a petition to the court to appoint a conservator, the person asking for the conservatorship should be sure this is an appropriate arrangement for the proposed conservatee.

Conservatorships are court approved appointments of an individual to handle the personal and financial affairs of a person who is no longer capable of doing so for reasons including disability, age or incapacity. This is a serious undertaking and the conservator may be challenged in court by other individuals who wish to serve as the conservator and/or the conservatee has the right to contest a petition for conservatorship.

The advantages of a conservatorship include safeguarding the person against fraud, from contracting, conveying property or marrying.

For example, a disabled individual who is persuaded to sign a check and cash it for money by persons he or she does not know. This individual is doing so without the ability to understand that a fraudulent transaction is under way by others who might take advantage.

TYPES OF CONSERVATORSHIP:

A Conservator of the Person is appointed to make decisions about personal matters for the conservatee, including decisions about food, clothing, and residence.

A Conservator of the Estate is responsible for handling the financial affairs of the conservatee. This type of conservatorship requires accounting of money spent from the person's estate as well as an accounting of financial affairs.

There is also a conservatorship of the person and of the estate.

THE PROCESS AND WHY LEGAL COUNSEL SHOULD
BE CONSULTED:

The conservatorship process begins with the filing of a petition. Once the petition is filed, a court date is set and a court investigator is assigned.

The person who will be conserved must be given notice of the petition. The court investigator talks to the proposed conservatee and others who may be able to provide information about the conservatee's condition and why other possible alternatives to a conservatorship are not available in the case.

Ultimately, after a review of the matter, the judge grants the petition by a decision appointing the conservator and Letters of Conservatorship will be issued. If there is an estate, then a bond must be filed unless the court orders the conservatee's bank accounts to be frozen.

If the petition is granted, must attend training and must maintain an ongoing duty to report to the court and to meet with the court investigator. Even if the petition is granted, the conservatee can challenge the decision.

LEGAL REPRESENTATION:

Our office can, among other things:

1. Provide affordable assistance by filing your Petition.

2. We can handle the entire process for you by coordinating all the notice and service requirements.

3. We can assist you in determining whether a conservatorship is appropriate.

4. We can represent you if the conservatorship is being challenged.