Protecting Assets of the Elderly or Disabled with a Conservatorship

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

Written By: Jeffrey JohnsonUPDATED: Jul 16, 2021Fact Checked

A Conservatorship is a legal process, which gives authority over a loved one’s finances and business affairs. The person who is the caretaker is called the conservator, and the person who is being taken care of is called the conservatee.

While a valid power of attorney document can authorize the power of attorney holder to accomplish some of a conservator’s tasks, it cannot prevent the ill person from contracting, conveying property or marrying. For example, a patient with Alzheimer’s disease may become subject to fraud from unscrupulous persons. He or she could have given a valid power of attorney while still able, but then married and give property to a new spouse. In this situation, the probate code provides that a Conservatorship may be established, and the conservator may ask the court to set aside any contract entered into by the ill conservatee. The advantage of the Conservatorship is that it can safeguard against fraud and protect the privacy and the assets of the ill person.

The establishment of a Conservatorship has three basic effects:

  • It shifts the responsibility of making financial and personal care decisions from the disabled individual to the Court appointed conservator.
  • It imposes significant limitations on the ability of the conservatee to take actions affecting finances or personal care.
  • It provides a certain degree of protection for the conservatee’s interests from fraud, misappropriation of funds or neglect.

Courts will only grant a Conservatorship if you cannot take care of yourself or your affairs and if you have made no arrangements for your care. If you have made adequate provisions, the court will not disturb your arrangements. Thus, a properly prepared estate plan can enable you to avoid a Conservatorship proceeding over you or over your estate.

Conservatorship proceedings can be very expensive and the cost of the legal proceedings and the cost of paying a Conservator are taken out of your assets, assets you might need for your care. Compared to the cost of a Conservatorship proceeding, the cost of planning ahead with a good estate plan is money well spent. But, if you did not plan ahead, at least this vehicle exists for the court to make sure someone is appointed to protect your interests.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about legal topics and insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything legal and insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by experts.

Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

Full Bio →

Written by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer Jeffrey Johnson

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption