In the last blog, we discussed the duties of a conservator of the person. As the conservator of the estate of an individual, you also have duties and responsibilities.
Basically the conservator of an estate acts similar to a trustee. The conservatee’s “estate” is all the money and property owned by the conservatee. The conservator must inventory all of the assets of the estate and have them appraised. The conservator must file an Inventory and Appraisal describing the property and its value. The conservator must determine what income the conservatee is receiving each month. If the conservatee has some investments, the conservator will have to evaluate each investment and determine if it is a wise investment or whether some other investment would be more advantageous for the conservator. Although you have the obligation to manage the assets, you cannot make risky investments. You also must keep the estate’s money and property separate from yours or anyone else’s.
The conservator also has to make a decision as to where the conservatee will live. It should be the least restrictive place and should be appropriate, safe, and comfortable. If the conservatee is in a residential care facility, you may have the duty of taking care of the conservatee’s home, and renting it if the conservatee is moved to another place. You also pay all the bills for housing, food, clothes, transportation, and medical care. The conservator of the estate is also the person responsible for filing taxes.
When you have been appointed by the Court to be a conservator of the estate, the Probate Court requires that you keep track of all the income the conservatee is receiving and all of the expenditures made on behalf of the estate. A checking account should be set up in the name of the conservatorship. Detailed records have to be kept, documenting each expense with receipts, and filing an accounting with the court after you have been acting for a year. Thereafter you have to file an accounting every 2 years. You will also have to file a final accounting once the conservatee has passed away or the conservatorship otherwise terminated. If the conservatee dies, you the have the duty of distributing the assets of the estate.
Scott C. Soady, A Professional Corporation can help you petition the court to be a conservator of the person or the estate and help you through the process which often can last years. Contact us with any questions about conservatorships or to schedule a complimentary appointment.