Estate Planning/Probate Newsletter
Saturday, May 18, 2013
- Conservators of the Person and of the Estate A "conservator" is a court-appointed individual assigned to handle the daily affairs of those who cannot care for themse...
- IRS Issues Proposed Regulations on Delaware Series LLC Limited Liability Companies ("LLCs") are a form of business ownership which is a separate legal entity much like a corpo...
- Valuation of Securities for Estate Tax Purposes In 2001, Congress passed legislation incrementally increasing the amount exempt from federal estate taxes and completely...
- Designating Another to Make Health Care Decisions A power of attorney is a document that authorizes one or more individuals (collectively referred to as the...
- Tax Treatment of Long-Term Care Insurance Premiums and Benefits People are living longer, but for many a reality of aging is that at some point they are unable to care for themselves. ...
Estate Planning/Probate News Links
Conservators of the Person and of the Estate
- A conservator of the person
- A conservator of the estate
Court-appointed conservators serve as "fiduciaries" of the conservatee. A fiduciary relationship is one of utmost trust and confidence. As such, a conservator is required to act honestly and in good faith at all times. In general, conservators are obligated to fulfill several fiduciary duties including:
- A duty to protect the rights and act in the best interest of the conservatee;
- A duty to make regular accountings to the court;
- A duty to keep the conservatee's finances separate from their own;
- A duty not to engage in self-dealing;
- A duty to properly manage the conservatee's property; and
- A duty to avoid conflicts of interest.
Advantages of Conservatorships
One advantage of a conservatorship is that the conservator is bound by the court and must keep detailed records and submit periodic reports and accountings to the court. As such, the court's oversight offers a high degree of protection against the mishandling of the conservatee's property. Further, conservators are often required to post a bond to protect the conservatee's estate. Although the bond premiums are paid with the conservatee's assets, it is a potentially good investment in the event that the conservator mismanages and/or loses the conservatee's assets.
Termination of a Conservatorship
A conservator is required by law to continue managing the affairs of the conservatee until the court orders otherwise. Typically, the court will issue an order to terminate the conservatorship under the following circumstances:
- The conservatee dies;
- The conservatee's assets are used up, eliminating the need for a conservator of the estate; or
- The conservatee no longer requires this level of assistance.
If the conservator resigns or can no longer handle the responsibilities of acting as conservator, the conservatorship does not terminate. Rather, someone else will be appointed as conservator by the court.
© 2012 NextClient.com, Inc. All rights reserved.