Taking care of loved ones or friends is a tremendous responsibility. Legal advisors point out that in some circumstances, conservatorships can be the right solution for protecting the finances and legal affairs of someone who has become incapacitated.
Court Appointed Conservatorships
Tucker Allen explains: Conservatorship is a legal proceeding in which the court appoints someone to manage another’s estate (finances, administrative and legal decisions) after determining that person lacks capacity to manage their own affairs. In legal terms, the ward is the incapacitated person and the conservator is given responsibility for the ward’s financial and legal affairs.
The most common reasons conservatorships are granted are cases of coma, mental incapacitation, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, stroke, or brain injury. Generally, medical statements confirming the incapacity are necessary during the court proceedings that establish a conservatorship. A court-appointed conservator can be a relative, friend, professional, or, in some cases, an institution.
Conservators are fiduciaries—they are obligated to always make decisions in the ward’s best interest. Because of this, courts typically require a bond, referred to as a conservator bond, before approving a conservatorship. A conservator bond is a type of fiduciary bond—serves as a guarantee that the conservator will act in the best interest of the ward, following all applicable laws. At Colonial Surety it’s easy to obtain a conservator bond, anytime, from anywhere: get your quote online; fill out the information requested; and, enter a payment method. Bonds are instantly available to print or e-file, from a lawyer’s office or the court. Obtain Conservator Bonds Here.
Once appointed, conservators are responsible for reporting to the court. This is typically done annually—and at the same time, the conservator bond must be renewed. Tucker Allen provides this snapshot of some of the key duties of a conservator:
- Fiduciary duty to make decisions for the ward’s best interests
- Cooperate with the court’s oversight in decision-making
- Ensure bills are paid
- Ensure taxes are filed
- Ensure investments are overseen and daily necessities are met
Good To Know
Although sometimes the terms “guardianship” and “conservatorship” are used interchangeably, they can actually be helpful differentiating the type of care a ward may need. As Tucker Allen notes, guardianship generally refers to the “personal care, health and lifestyle” of a ward, whereas conservatorship refers to the “finances, administrative and legal decisions.”
Colonial Surety helps court appointed guardians, conservators and other fiduciaries anywhere in the country secure their court required bonds promptly. Court can be confusing. Colonial is not—we have the expertise to help. Our self-serve online platform is user friendly, making bonds easily available directly to customers—and if you have questions, just call, we answer and we’re HERE TO HELP.
Elder and Family Law Practice?
Across the country, lawyers find that partnering with Colonial Surety Company speeds up the process whenever courts require fiduciary or court bonds.
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