What is Conservatorship?

Conservatorship is 

“A conservatorship is a legal relationship created by a Court who appoints an adult individual, or an entity.  The “Conservator” is appointed to manage certain aspects of another person’s (a “Conservatee”) life. Commonly, a Conservator manages and protects the Conservatee’s interests in financial and property matters” (Legal Dictionary)

Who May Need a Conservatorship?

Children under the age of 18, a developmentally disabled person or a person who has been deemed incapacitated. 

Who can be Appointed as a Conservator?

A Conservator can be a person (such as a relative or spouse) or a professional entity (such as a bank, trust company or professional fiduciary) appointed by the Court to oversee the finances and property of a person who is deemed incompetent of making their own decisions. Typically the person would be harmed without a conservator managing these financial areas. 

What is a Fiduciary Standard?

The Conservator is held to a standard of a Fiduciary.  The Conservator in their fiduciary capacity prudently takes care of money or other assets for the Conservatee.

What is the Court Process?

In Idaho a Petition is filed by an interested party for Conservatorship much like the Guardianship.  For an incapacitated adult a Court Visitor is appointed to submit a written report to the Court as the appropriateness of appointing a Conservator. Minor children and minor developmentally disabled persons are not typically appointed a Court Visitor. The Court Visitor works with the appointed Guardian Ad Litem who is the legal counsel for the incapacitated person.  They work together for the protection of the interests and for the benefit of the Conservatee. The Conservatee’s physician will also be required to write a letter to the Court verifying the Conservatee’s incapacity. The Court reviews the written report and suggestions of the Guardian Ad Litem and Court Visitor. If the Court finds proof of a necessity for appointment of Conservatorship then Letters of Conservatorship are issued.

What Happens Once a Conservator is Appointed?

Once the Court finds the necessity for Conservatorship then the Conservator may begin to handle the financial and legal affairs of the individual. This is accomplished through Letters of Conservatorship which gives the Conservator the power to collect all the individual’s assets, pay their bills, and make investments on their behalf. The Conservator must obtain Court approval for any major transactions, such as purchase or sale of property.

What is the Required Accountings by the Conservator?

Then on an annual basis, the Conservator is required to complete and file an Annual Accounting Report showing a record of all disbursement of finances to the court, informing the Court through the Annual Accounting receipt of and distribution of funds to and for the benefit of a Conservatee. 

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