3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Conservator

A conservator is a person appointed to take care of personal affairs of a person who has become incapacitated due to a severe mental or physical impediment. A conservator will make financial decisions on behalf of the person and manage their estate. Even though the terms “conservator” and “guardian” are sometimes used interchangeably, in California, a guardian is appointed to make decisions on behalf of a minor while a conservator takes care of matters related to an incapacitated adult. The incapacitated adult is called a conservatee. A person who is appointed to make decisions with regards to the daily life of another person – such as healthcare, food, etc. – is called a conservator of a person. A person who manages the matters related to the estate of an incapacitated adult and has the right to make financial decisions on his or her behalf is called the conservator of an estate.

Choosing a conservator can be an important part of an estate plan. Choosing a right conservator can also be a difficult process. Essentially, a person who makes arrangements for conservatorship bestows his or her life affairs in the hands of another. In this article, we will analyze 3 factors to take into consideration when choosing a conservator.

Someone You Can Trust

If you ever become incapacitated, the conservator will have the authority to decide about and control virtually every aspect of your life. The issues such as where you’re going to live, medical treatments that you will undergo, and even food you’re going to it – a conservator will have a decisive say in all that. In addition, he or she will also make important financial decisions on your behalf and can even sell your property. Therefore, in choosing a conservator, think of a person you have unwavering, implicit trust. Choose someone you know for sure will have your best interest at heart at all times.

Someone Who Is Committed

A conservatorship can last for years or even decades. During this time, the conservator will have to invest a considerable amount of time, on a daily basis, to manage your personal affairs and your finances in addition to their own matters. That may often mean managing two estates at a time – a feat that is not only time-consuming but can also be emotionally taxing. In addition, even though the conservator will have great authority over your life and estate, it doesn’t mean that he or she will be able to make any decision and implement it immediately. Rather, the conservator will have to follow an involved legal process, make reports, and from time to time meet with a judge in a court. To ensure that the decisions the conservator will make will always be in your best interest, you need to choose someone who has displayed an unwavering commitment to you, your family, and your estate.

Someone With an Understanding of Finances

A conservator is often faced with difficult financial choices. In addition, managing another person’s estate in a way that ensures financial stability can be challenging especially that a person who needs a conservator often has special medical needs that require costly treatments over an extended period of time. At times, a conservator will have to make drastic financial decisions – such as selling a real estate property on behalf of the conservatee. Without a good understanding of business and finances, the conservator can quickly toss the conservatee’s estate into financial troubles with drastic consequences for his or her quality of life. Therefore, choosing a person who is financially literate and who makes sound financial decisions in their own life is of utmost importance.

Creating an Estate Plan? Contact Solan, Park & Robello

Solan, Park & Robello are trusted attorneys practicing in San Francisco with ample experience in legal matters related to conservatorships, trusts, and probate. If you’re contemplating the appointment of a conservator or making any other estate planning arrangements, be sure to contact us and obtain the advice that will help you choose the most desirable course of action according to the circumstances of your estate.

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Solan, Park & Robello

Solan, Park & Robello is a full-service probate and estate planning firm offering experienced counsel in a wide range of estate planning matters—from preparation to administration to litigation.

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