A conservatorship is a legal arrangement in which a court appoints someone to manage the financial or personal affairs of another individual who is unable to do so themselves. This person is called a conservator and makes decisions on behalf of the individual, who is referred to as the conservatee. Conservatorships are typically set up for people who are elderly, disabled, or have special needs, and are unable to make decisions or care for themselves due to physical or mental incapacity. The conservator is responsible for managing the conservatee’s finances, paying bills, making investments, and ensuring that the conservatee’s daily needs are met.
Conservatorships can be temporary or permanent and are set up by a court order. In some cases, conservatorships can be contested, especially if there are disagreements about who should be appointed as the conservator or whether the conservator is acting in the best interests of the conservatee.
Types of Conservatorships:
Conservatorship of the person is when the court appoints a conservator to manage the personal and medical needs of the conservatee, such as making decisions about healthcare, living arrangements, and daily needs. This type of conservatorship is typically used when the conservatee is unable to care for themselves due to age, disability, or illness.
Conservatorship of the estate, on the other hand, is when the court appoints a conservator to manage the conservatee’s financial affairs . This includes managing the conservatee’s assets, paying bills, and making financial decisions on their behalf. This type of conservatorship is used when the conservatee is unable to manage their own finances or to resist fraud or undue influence, typically due to age, disability, or illness.
It’s important to note that in some cases, both types of conservatorships may be necessary, and the court may appoint the same person to serve as conservator for both the person and the estate.
Is a Conservatorship Necessary?
Whether a conservatorship is necessary depends on the individual circumstances of the case. In some cases, a conservatorship may be necessary to protect the conservatee from financial exploitation or other forms of abuse. Yet conservatorships can be a controversial topic and can be seen as infringing on an individual’s autonomy and freedom. It is important to carefully consider all options and alternatives before pursuing a conservatorship. If you are unsure whether a conservatorship is necessary in your situation, it may be helpful to speak with an attorney or other qualified professional for guidance.
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