Conservators Manage Finances For Those Who Cannot Do It Themselves

If a loved one who could potentially inherit assets is unable to make financial decisions for himself or herself due to disability, it is wise to name a conservator for that person in your will or other estate planning documents. Conservatorship provides a trusted individual legal authority to make financial decisions on behalf of the conservatee, who may be incapacitated or developmentally disabled.

In addition to managing the conservatee's bank accounts and investments, a conservator often will pay bills, collect debts and manage cash flow for the individual. An adult conservator's duties are focused on financial matters, while an adult guardian makes decisions regarding health and lifestyle matters such as where to live. An individual may be named both a conservator and guardian for another person, or multiple parties can be granted these duties.

The process to create a conservatorship in California is complex. A judge may deny a conservatorship if all forms and steps are not completed properly, or if the petitioner fails to show that the proposed conservatee is unable to manage his or her own finances. At the Law Office of Suzanne P. Nicholl, PC, in San Diego, I help individuals navigate this process so they can rest assured their loved ones will be cared for.

When Is A Conservatorship Necessary?

A conservatorship is established to protect a person who stands to inherit assets, yet who is unable to make sound decisions regarding managing those assets. This may be due to:

  • A health setback, such as Alzheimer's disease, dementia or a stroke
  • A brain injury
  • A mental disability
  • A coma

In California, a conservator is required to file an accounting report, including assets and expenditures, one year after the appointment, and then every two years thereafter. This safeguards against breach of fiduciary responsibility on the part of the conservator.

Ready To Establish Your Conservatorship

One of the most common mistakes regarding the creation of a conservatorship is procrastination. Delays can cause increasingly complex legal difficulties that become more expensive and time-consuming to resolve. It is wise to work with a lawyer who can review your situation to determine if establishing a conservatorship is wise.

I welcome the opportunity to review your situation and answer your questions about conservatorship during a free initial consultation. Call 619-894-8552 or use my online contact form to schedule a meeting. You are assured of working with the attorney you hire and having direct access to me throughout.