Conservatorship of an Adult

A Conservator is a person, or sometimes a financial institution, appointed by the judge to manage money and property for someone else. The person needing the Conservatorship is called a "protected person."


The judge may appoint a Conservator when the judge determines two things: First, that the person to be protected is not capable of managing his or her money and property effectively. Second, that the person to be protected has money or property that may be squandered. A Conservator will not be appointed until after a court hearing.

The judge will order the Conservator to obtain a bond in an amount the judge determines is necessary to protect the person's assets. Bonds insure protection against theft or fraud and are obtained from insurance companies. The Court might order that part of the ward's assets are restricted, which will lower the amount of the bond.

A Conservator has many responsibilities, including managing the protected person's monthly bills, real estate, tax returns and so on.

The Conservator must keep detailed records of all financial transactions. These records must show the dates, amounts and types of all financial transactions, with receipts. Once a year, the Conservator must file an accounting with the court. The accounting must show all financial transactions since the appointment date. The Conservator must also schedule a hearing for court approval of all financial transactions for the year in review.

A Conservatorship appointment is for an indefinite period of time. If the protected person becomes able to manage property, or if the protected person dies, the Conservator's obligations and liability continue until the judge enters a formal order ending the Conservatorship.

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Paula Collins
Law Library Resource Center Administrator
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