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 the conservator.
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.