What Protections Exist Against Bad Conservators?
A conservator is someone appointed by the court to handle your affairs if you become incapacitated. Depending on the nature of the conservatorship, this person may have complete authority over your assets. However, there are a number of safeguards in place to protect you against mismanagement by your conservator.
First, your conservator is likely to be a close family member. However, the court will try to make sure that this person is suitable to act as your conservator. Also, anyone (not just a family member) can object to the specific choice of a conservator.
Second, the conservator is supervised by the court. Most states require that the conservator file a plan with the court, and then periodically provide an update for the court. Also, while a conservator may have authority to make financial decision on your behalf, they must get approval before making certain big decisions, such as selling property.
Finally, a conservator is required to obtain a bond. This bond acts as a sort of insurance against mismanagement. If the court feels that your estate has lost value and the conservator’s dishonesty or negligence was to blame, then your estate will be reimbursed for the loss.
While these safeguards protect you against your conservator’s mismanagement, they are not foolproof. By consulting with an experienced attorney now, you can take steps to make sure that you will not need a conservator in the event something bad happens to you.
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Last Modified: 06-26-2013 03:02 PM PDT
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