A conservator is a person appointed by the court to make financial decisions for another person. Conservatorship may be necessary where a person is not able to make decisions because of his or her age or because of a physical or mental condition.
If a person would like to be considered to act as the conservator, he or she must first file a petition with the court and the court will set a hearing date. The petition must include the reason why the conservatorship is necessary, the names and addresses of the interested persons and name of the proposed conservator. The person who is the subject of the proposed conservatorship will also receive notice and an opportunity to appear.
The proposed conservator must provide several reports to the court prior to the hearing. He or she must provide a credit report, a sex offender registry report, a national criminal history check and a report from the abuse and neglect registry.
In addition to managing finances for the protected person, conservators have several other responsibilities. The conservator must not co-mingle his or her personal finances with the protected person’s assets, cannot reimburse him or herself more than $500 without the court’s approval and cannot move the protected person out of state without the court’s approval.
Every year, the conservator is required to submit a report and an accounting to the court. This includes details about money received on the protected person’s behalf and the expenses the conservator paid on his or her behalf.
The conservatorship process and yearly requirements can seem complex, but there is assistance available.