What Is A Conservatorship?

There are times when an elderly person fails to take care of herself or himself. In that case, an adult having any type of relationship with the individual might petition a county probate court for controlling the affairs via conservatorship. Though a number of people, who have a vague idea about what is a conservatorship, confuse it with guardianship. However, there lies an obvious difference between them. A conservator can impart control over the financial, as well as the overall well-being. Here’s how a conservator might help the person-

Investing in the Ward’s Liquid Assets

In case the ward has liquid assets, a court-appointed conservator has the duty of deciding on its optimum investment. Also, he/she would be responsible for determining who would oversee the investment. If needed, the conservator may or may not take the help of a professional financial adviser. On the contrary, a guardian would not go beyond overseeing his ward’s bank account. 

Handling Real Estate plus Physical Properties

If a particular conservatory has quite a number of substantial holdings, then his conservator would have the responsibility to decide whether assets like tangible personal property, or real estate, and the like could be sold, leased, or bought. For example, the conservator can sell his ward’s car and utilize the money to buy a well-equipped van, or sell his ward’s residence to raise the money necessary for his ward’s treatment. In conservatorship, the court-appointed conservator will maintain contact with the financial institutions that he is associated with and ensure that everything runs smoothly. 

From Paying Bills to Filing IT Returns

Typically, a conservator will pay all the bills of the person he/she is caregiving too. This includes personal bills and medical bills unless the ward’s guardian is entitled to do this work. Similarly, the conservator would prepare, as well as fill all income tax returns on behalf of his ward. 

Is Court Approval Required?

Different states have different laws in this conservatorship. However, both conservators and guardians have certain works assigned exclusively to them. Depending on the state where the ward resides, certain duties would require court approval, while others would not. For example, in Florida, it is required to seek the court’s approval before selling the ward’s personal properties or real estates. Again, Nebraska has made it compulsory for the conservator to seek the court’s approval before using the ward’s debit card for withdrawing money from any account. Again, in Massachusetts, a guardian is not permitted to administer certain drugs or admit the ward to a nursing home before the approval of the court. 

After Death of the Conservatory

When a protected person dies, the conservator can settle with the administration of the estate. He/ she can do it by distributing the probate property to the people who represent the deceased person’s estate. So far the non-probate properties are concerned in the conservatorship; the conservator can distribute them to the successors, who are in interest. He/she is obliged to furnish a final report well-within 30 days of distribution. 

Jeffrey Roberts

Emily Roberts: Emily, a former corporate lawyer, demystifies the world of law with clear explanations of legal principles, case analyses, and insights into the legal profession. Her blog is a valuable resource for law students, legal professionals, and anyone interested in law.