A conservatorship proceeding involves asking the Court to appoint an alternate decision maker for an adult who is incapable of managing their financial affairs. There are three general circumstances in which conservatorship issues tend to arise:
- a child with a developmental disability is approaching the age of 18
- an adult sustains a traumatic brain injury that interferes with their ability to manage their own affairs; or
- an individual becomes affected by a medical condition that results in the deterioration of their ability to make their own decisions or manage their own affairs.
The incapacitated person in a conservatorship is referred to as the “conservatee.”
The court appointed conservator manages the following for the conservatee in a manner consistent with the conservatee’s net worth and lifestyle:
- bank accounts
- real estate
The conservator also has the power to:
- apply for public health benefits for which the conservatee may be eligible
- approve or make contracts on the conservatee’s behalf
- represent the conservatee’s interests in lawsuits
- petition the Court to reverse gifts and/or transactions made by the conservatee during the two years prior to their appointment
- purchase or sell real estate for the conservatee with the Court’s approval.
A conservator must manage the conservatee’s financial affairs to maximize the benefit to the conservatee. The conservator is required to file accountings with the Court that detail all of the financial transactions that have occurred during the previous year. All bank statements, receipts, and bills are required to be maintained so that the can be provided to the Court. The Court can remove a conservator who it believes has mismanaged the conservatee’s financial affairs.
Contact Patricia Buss to discuss your legal matter today.