Conservatorship in depth

Today we will conclude our story about Alan, Sandy, and Mary that we have shared with you over the past couple of weeks. We will go ahead and spoil the ending by telling you the family is in a much better situation and Alan’s health and finances are now addressed. Last week  we told you how the daughter, Mary, gained Guardianship over her dad, Alan, to improve his health and living situation. This week we will provide an in depth education on Conservatorship and how this process helped the family plan and pay for Alan’s current and future care needs.

The role of the Conservator

Conservatorship gives the conservator the authority to manage the ward’s finances. Once an individual is under conservatorship, they lose their right to control their assets. Being a conservator is a serious and sometimes time-consuming responsibility. A conservator must be bonded for one year’s worth of the ward’s income plus all nonreal property assets. The conservator must also file an inventory of the ward’s income and assets and request a budget from the court (an asset management plan). The conservator must file an Annual Return with the court at the end of the year to show all receipts and disbursements from the ward’s estate. When a family does not have a person willing and able to act as a conservator, the court will appoint a county conservator for the ward (usually an attorney in private practice who has been vetted by the court). As you can see, being a conservator requires a lot of responsibility.

Emergency Conservatorship

In our case, Mary decided she needed to file for Emergency Guardianship and Conservatorship for Alan because Sandy (Alan’s second wife) had failed to pay insurance premiums, taxes and refused to pay for the mold remediation for Alan’s home. At the emergency hearing, the court decided to appoint the county conservator as the emergency conservator to keep the family fighting to a minimum. The county conservator was able to pay for the mold remediation and get the house clean and ready for sale, pay the back taxes and insurance to protect the major asset of the ward, Alan. In the hearing for the permanent petition, the conservator will ask for permission to sell the house for not less than fair market value. Once the judge gives permission, the conservator can sell Alan’s house and have enough money for him to live in the Assisted Living Facility for a very long time.

As you can imagine, this was quite an ordeal for the family and having the experts at Hurley Elder Care Law assist them was necessary in helping them navigate all their decisions and the court process. The family felt they reached the best possible outcome for a tough situation, and we were happy to help them.

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