When you take on the important role of serving as a Conservator on behalf of another person one of the required responsibilities is to account for the finances. Michigan statute MCL 700.5418 provides that a conservator shall account to the court for administration not less than annually unless the court directs otherwise, upon resignation or removal, and at other times as the court directs.
How to Complete an Account in a Conservator Estate
Michigan uses pre-approved forms to assist in preparing and filing of Accounts. State Court Administrative Order (SCAO) form PC 584 (click here for the free Account form) can be used for accounts of conservators for Adults and Minors; and Guardianships for Legally Incapacitated Individuals, and Individuals with a Developmental Disability.
Follow these directions to save yourself time in having your Account approved by the Probate Court. This video provides step by step instructions.
When completing the Account form, either type or print neatly in black or blue ink. And importantly, along with the Account, a copy of the corresponding financial institution statement must be presented to the court or a verification of funds on deposit must be filed with the court, either of which must reflect the value of all liquid assets (i.e., checking/savings account, certificate of deposit, money market fund, etc.) held by a financial institution dated within 30 days after the end of the accounting period, unless waived by the court for good cause.
Step by Step Instructions: How to Complete an Account in a Conservator Estate
TOP OF THE FIRST PAGE OF PC584
“In the Matter of”: Unless it already appears on the form, put the name of the person the conservatorship is for here.
Item 1 – Account Period: The Account period must be for 1 year (unless the account is the final accounting, in which case the period may be less than 1 year and ends upon the end of your authority over the estate). If you are filing your 1st Annual account, the beginning date is when Letters of Authority as conservator were issued by the Court. If you are filing a 2nd or later Annual account, the beginning date is the end date of the last Account. Also, indicate what kind of account it is in the top box (i.e., Annual, Final, or Interim).
Item 2 – Summary: This item asks you to tell the Court how the balance in the conservatorship has changed from the last Account (or the Inventory) to this Account. This item begins with the balance on hand from last Account and ends with total balance of assets remaining .
Balance on hand from last account: Go to your copy of the last Account (if this is the first Account, then go to your copy of the Inventory). Find what was recorded for balance of assets remaining in that Account (if you go to the Inventory, find the total on the Inventory).Write this number down for balance on hand from last Account. This represents what was in the conservatorship at the beginning of this accounting period.
Add income in accounting period: Write down the total you put down for Schedule A. This represents the amount of money or other assets that came in to the conservatorship during the accounting period.
Total assets accounted for: Add these top two numbers together and write the sum here.
Subtract disbursements in this accounting period: Write down the total you put down for Schedule B. This represents the amount of money that went out of the conservatorship during the accounting period.
Total balance of assets remaining: Now subtract the disbursements from the total assets accounted for. This represents the amount of money and\or other assets in the conservatorship at the end of the accounting period.
SCHEDULE A: INCOME
Income: List here all money or other assets by category that came into the conservatorship during the Account period. Have only one entry per category, with the year total for that category listed in the dollars column to the right of the Schedule A section.
Typical income sources may include some or all of the following: Social Security, Interest on bank account, Pension, Dividends from stocks, Capital gains, VA benefits, Rental income, Inheritance, Tax refunds, SSI (Disability), and Life insurance benefits.
Total Income: Make sure to record the total of all income and other receipts at the bottom of Schedule A.
SCHEDULE B: EXPENSES, LOSSES, AND OTHER DISBURSEMENTS
Expenses: List here all money that was paid out of the conservatorship during the Account period.
Typical kinds of expenses: These could include personal items (clothing), room & board in a facility, medical care, and insurance payments. These can be listed by category. Example: Utilities, rent, food, clothing, etc. Have only one entry per category, with the year total for that category listed in the dollars column to the right of the Schedule B section. For conservatorship accountings, you must have receipts organized by category for each disbursement.
Total Expenses and Disbursements: Make sure to record the total of all expenses and other disbursements at the bottom of Schedule B.
TOP OF THE SECOND PAGE OF PC584
SCHEDULE C: GAINS AND LOSSES
This is used if you sold an asset, such as a house, car, bonds, or mutual funds during the Account period. See Schedule C on the form for more information. Also, any gains or losses should be included in the appropriate place in Schedule A or B on the first page.
SCHEDULE D: ITEMIZED ASSETS
Itemized assets remaining: List what assets are in the conservatorship at the end of the accounting period.
Typical assets: The usual types of assets in a conservatorship include a checking account or some other bank account, a home, and personal and household property. These assets and their value may be listed by category.Here’s an example:
|Home at 123 Main Street||$50,000|
|Checking account, account #123456, Gigantic National Bank||$1,000|
|Personal and household property||$1,000|
|Total balance on hand||$52,000|
Balance of Assets Remaining: You must total the value of the assets in the conservatorship. Since this is a total of the assets remaining at the end of the accounting period, this total must equal the total balance of assets remaining you recorded on the last line of item 2 above.
ITEMS 3 THROUGH 7
Item 3 – Interested persons: If any interested persons have moved or died since their addresses were given to the court, you must list their new addresses (or state that they died).
Item 5: Don’t fill this out – it is only used in deceased estates, not conservatorships.
Items 6 & 7 – Fiduciary/attorney fees: The law allows a conservator to obtain only “reasonable compensation” for services rendered. If you charge the estate a fee for serving as conservator, you must attach a written summary of services performed.
Fiduciary signature: You, as conservator or guardian of an estate for an individual with a developmental disability, must date and sign the Account. If there are co-conservators or co-estate guardians for an individual with a developmental disability, all must sign.
Attorney signature: If you have an attorney representing you in the conservatorship or guardianship for an individual with a developmental disability, they must also sign.