Here is a sad store of a Conservator the stole money from her own child. In 2010, a young woman was injured in an automobile accident. Following her settlement, a minor conservatorship was established in which the settlement proceeds were to be deposited. The young woman’s mother had been appointed the conservator. The personal injury established the conservatorship without working with a firm that specialized in probate services like The Probate Pro.
Unfortunately, upon receipt of the settlement proceeds, the mother failed to deposit the funds in a fiduciary bank account. Contrary to her Letters of Conservator, she successfully negotiated the check at a bank and withdrew the funds for her own personal use. Sadly, the conservator stole the money belonging to her own child!
A few months later, the Gladwin County Probate Court appointed The Probate Pro to serve as special conservator to recover the funds. The Probate Pro filed a lawsuit against the bank that wrongfully negotiated the check. As special conservator of the minor estate, The Probate Pro successfully recovered from the bank the funds and obtained a judgment against the mother.
Conservator Stole Money: Michigan Law
Michigan statute MCL 700.5423 defines the powers of a conservator in administration of the conservator estate. A conservator owes a fiduciary duty to the individual, a duty of the highest trust. The conservator must use care in handling property, be prudent in making investments, and use assets only for the benefit of the individual and his or her dependents.
A Conservator is a person who is given authority by the Probate Court to be responsible for the assets of another person. A Conservator may be nominated by using a petition filed with the Probate Court or by a deceased parent’s will.
The lesson here is that this issue could have been avoided had the personal injury attorney ensured the deposit of the settlement funds into a fiduciary account.