Conservatorship: Know the ropes!

Taking on the job of conservator? Make sure you truly understand what it entails and what it will require of you!

A conservator has broad power to handle assets on behalf of someone that has been deemed a “protected individual”, that is essentially, legally determined to be unable to manage his/ her affairs. A lot of people find themselves seeking conservatorship on a relative or friend’s behalf because there were no powers of attorney in place that appointed an agent in the event of incapacitation. There are other circumstances that may lead to you petitioning a court for conservatorship. Whatever the case may be, if you are appointed conservator over someone’s estate, you are considered a “fiduciary” and are held to a high standard of care.

Here are a few factors to consider: To even qualify, a lot of conservators are required to file a surety bond (depending largely on the size of the estate). Lately, a number of surety bond agencies are running credit checks and/or charging higher premiums to secure to the bond. Once the bond is filed (if applicable) and you get your “letters of authority” to act as a conservator, you must immediately take an inventory of assets and begin keeping accurate records of transactions. Why? You are required to file an initial inventory of assets and an annual report that details how those assets have been handled. Misuse or mishandling of funds as a fiduciary can lead to some serious consequences, so you want to make sure you are handling everything correctly. Sounds like a lot? It can be! Not to worry- C&G is here to assist you in your duties! Questions? Concerns? Contact us today!

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