Conservatorship: Purpose And Process
When an adult can no longer handle his or her own affairs, the court may appoint a conservator to look after that person’s best interests. Family members, friends or professionals may be appointed conservators.
Kristof & Kristof, Attorneys at Law, advises and assists clients seeking conservatorships for loved ones.
Things To Consider When Establishing A Conservatorship
Conservatorships are incredibly helpful tools to those who need them. They give a person’s loved ones the power to help them legally, medically and financially. But, conservatorships are technically detailed. If you need a conservatorship, it is important to retain counsel knowledgeable in conservatorship practice.
If the incapacitated person’s relatives must go to court to have a conservator appointed to manage the person’s financial affairs, they must ask the judge to rule that the person cannot take care of their own affairs. Often, the reason for the incapacity must be delved into in detail. Relevant family medical history, medications being taken and causes of incapacity are usually described.
The tasks usually continue beyond just obtaining the conservatorship. Often, after the conservator is appointed, he or she must:
- Obtain a bond
- Prepare detailed financial reports
- Obtain court approval for the transaction, such as selling real estate – this may require additional court costs
You may also consider executing a durable power of attorney for financial management and an advance health care directive as a supplement or other course of action.
An Alternative: A Durable Power Of Attorney For Financial Management
A power of attorney is a written document in which one person (the principal) appoints another person (the agent) to act in place of the principal for financial matters.
Under a durable power of attorney for financial matters, the agent handles the principal’s financial affairs if the principal becomes incapacitated and unable to act for himself or herself.
Another Alternative: An Advance Health Care Directive
In advance health care directives, an adult (the principal) takes the following actions:
1) Appoints an agent to make health care decisions for the principal if the principal becomes unable to make those decisions for himself or herself.
2) Provides health care and end-of-life instructions for the agent to follow upon the principal’s incapacity.