What are my rights if I’m about to become conservator of my dad’s estate, as he has become incapacitated?

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What are my rights if I’m about to become conservator of my dad’s estate, as he has become incapacitated?

The only part of the estate under conservatorship will be his IRA. I am also the successor trustee of his living Trust, his daughter and one of the beneficiaries. Can I cash out the IRA and deposit the money into the living Trust? I would rather pay his bills out of the Trust than be having to go to court for accounting. I would remain conservator of his person, of course but I don’t like the idea that I have to report yearly to the court when I pay for his skilled nursing.

Asked on September 9, 2015 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.H., Member, California Bar / M.H., Member, California Bar

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Why is your father being conserved if he has an estate plan i.e., trust?  Does you father have an advance health care directive and power of attorney, too?  These documents are used to avoid conservatorship. 
If you cash out his IRA, your father's estate would have to pay the income tax which could be substantial.  
Once established, you could terminate the conservatorship of the estate by placing the funds into his trust upon approval by the court.   However, the judge might be reluctant to do this because the court would lose its oversight over your father's assets i.e., no court accountings.  Probate courts are protective proceedings and they are hesitant to give up this role.   
I would be concerned if I were you if your lawyer does not know the answer. 


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