There are many reasons why an individual can lose control of their financial
assets and estates. This can include factors such as age, mental and physical
ability, and circumstances. In situations where an individual can no longer
handle their financial affairs, including paying bills on time and managing
their finances, they can apply for conservators to look over their matters.
In other cases, a court may also appoint a conservator.
Estate conservatorship is the practice of an individual taking responsibility
over the conservatee’s financial dealings. This is usually when
the court deems the conservatee incapable of handling their own financial affairs.
Some duties of the conservators of estates include:
- Paying the bills
- Cataloging and filing an inventory of assets owned by the conservatee
- Making investments
- Applying for benefits
- Keeping records of finances
- Informing the court of the conservatee’s estate
The role of a conservator is not easy. In fact, there are quite a few challenges
that can arise.
Opposition By Family Members
One of the biggest challenges an estate conservator can face is adversity
from family members. Whether the conservator is a friend or family member
or an outside party, there may be individuals who do not trust the conservators
to make the best choices in the conservatee’s affairs. Contentious
family members can challenge the court’s decision and the role of
Little Room for Error
Because finances and investments are involved, there is little room for
error. When it comes to assets and managing someone else’s financial
affairs, people are more likely to criticize and judge. Conservators have
to be careful and meticulous with their job. The conservatee’s best
interests should influence and drive every decision made.
Pay Bills on Time
Much like their own life, conservators must promptly pay bills on time.
Because they work on behalf of the conservatee, they will be held responsible
if a payment is missed or a bill unpaid.
Potential for Blame
The estate conservator must be very careful when it comes to managing their
ward’s financial affairs. Because they have the power to make investments
and monetary decisions, they also must bear the blame if an investment
goes awry. Conservators need to make sure to apply for benefits, pay the
bills, and keep detailed records. Failure to do any of these in a timely
manner can result in a reprimand.
Constant Court Visits
The conservator of an estate generally works closely with the court. This
means that there are constant court dates where the conservator informs
the judge of financial dealings with the conservatee’s estate.
At Chung & Ignacio, Attorney at Law, we understand the challenges of
estate conservatorship. We believe it is important that all involved be
informed about their legal rights in such a relationship. If you or a
loved one have challenges with your conservator, contact our Rancho Cucamonga
conservatorship attorney today for a free consultation.