Not too long ago, we took a look at five things people should consider when choosing a guardian. This week, we’ll discuss three things people should consider when choosing a conservator. A conservator is responsible for handling an individual’s financial accounts and statements, making sure the individual needing conservatorship has nothing to worry about. With that said, you may already have an idea as to what you should look for. Allow us to reaffirm your thoughts, or to expand them with these three things you should consider.
Be fiscally responsible
A conservator will be in charge of handling someone else’s finances. Something like this should require the conservator to have some fiscal responsibility. This doesn’t just pertain to knowing how to write out a check or to make a payment. Think about how the money may need to be invested, or how assets may need to be bought, sold or held onto. All of these could have individual reasons, such as selling off assets to acquire a new van for transportation. Maybe the property needs to be sold in order to provide the individual care. Then there’s the responsibilities that involve paying the bills and filing income tax returns. Of course, there’s always the requirement to provide the court with an annual account on what’s been purchased, sold or invested, as well as the value of each action.
Have the ability to manage multiple accounts
Managing multiple accounts is a lot easier said than done. When taking the role as a conservator, that person isn’t just making payments. They’re in constant contact with multiple accounts. This means they’re talking to bankers, bill collectors, potential asset purchasers, individuals selling an asset of interest to the conservator and the individual he or she watches over financially. So, on top of managing the accounts that need to be paid for, the conservator needs to have a relationship with those company representatives overseeing the individual’s account. This means providing updates on payments, notifying them of any changes, etc.
Possess quality characteristics
Yes, we did mention something along the lines of this when discussing guardians. However, we would be remiss in our duties if we did not suggest this yet again. There will never be enough content that explains just how important it is for someone such as a guardian or a conservator to possess quality characteristics. After all, this is someone else’s money. The individual is counting on the conservator to make decisions in his or her best interest.
Trust is the key word here, as that’s what should be a pillar in anyone’s search for a conservator. Would you rather have someone you know overseeing your accounts, but has a history of trust issues? Or would you trust your accounts to someone you don’t know, but can be counted on? Trustworthiness, politeness, maturity and timeliness are all things that should be considered as quality characteristics.
There are many things that go into a conservatorship – to a point where this mere blog entry would transform before your very own eyes into a novella! At The Probate ProSM, we know the laws of conservatorships in Michigan, as well as guardianships in Ohio, which includes the responsibilities of a conservator. In fact, we don’t just know the laws, we use them every day.
With experience in conservatorships, guardianships, estate planning and more, people are trusting us with their cases, and we want to help you too. If you or someone you know may be in need of conservatorship services, give us a call today. Our phone number is 1-(877)-YOUR-FIRM.