In the event of a person’s incapacitation, he or she will likely need various types of assistance in his or her daily life. As a result, the court may appoint an individual to carry out those necessary duties in order to properly attend to the incapacitated party’s affairs. In many cases, if an adult individual needs such assistance, the appointed agent gains the title of conservator.
Conservator or guardian?
Though guardian may seem like the more common term, a guardian and a conservator could essentially carry out the same duties. In some cases, the term applies to the same position, and in other instances, a guardian may only attend to a person’s health-related personal matters while a conservator carries out financial-related duties for the incapacitated party. Further still, some states may utilize the term guardian when it comes to the care of a child while using the term conservator when discussing the care of an adult.
In Arizona, conservator means someone handling the financial affairs of a minor or incapacitated adult.
If you or another family member feels concerned about a loved one’s ability to make decisions for him or herself, you may wish to take your concerns to the court. If your concerns prove valid, the court may appoint a conservator to make financial decisions on your loved one’s behalf. The court also supervises and grants only certain powers to the conservator.
As someone in charge of another person’s finances, you have a number of different duties and responsibilities. You may need to ensure that bills get paid on time, assets are properly used, how to spend money in terms of care and make other similar decisions. Having charge over someone’s finances can prove stressful and time consuming, and therefore, you may wish to ensure that you have the ability to properly carry out your duties before taking on such a role.
Alternative to conservatorship
In some cases, an individual may not need a conservator appointed. If your loved one carried out estate planning, he or she may have utilized a power of attorney document to appoint a financial agent. In such cases, the court would not appoint an individual, as your loved one had already chosen an agent, and power of attorney documents prove legally binding when properly filed. Therefore, you may wish to determine whether your loved one had appointed an agent.
If you hope to create a conservatorship for a family member, you may wish to find out more on the legal proceedings associated with such action. Speaking with an experienced Arizona attorney could help you in such an endeavor.