A conservatorship is a legal right given to a person to be responsible for the assets and finances and/or the physical care of a person deemed fully or partially incapable of providing these necessities for himself or herself. In some jurisdictions, a conservatorship may be referred to as a “guardianship of the estate”, or by some similar alternative name. It may be necessary to petition a court to appoint a conservator for persons:
- Who have physical or mental problems that prevent them from managing their own financial affairs;
- Who have no person already legally authorized to assume responsibility for them; and
- Where other kinds of assistance with financial management will not adequately protect them.
A conservatorship can be set up after a judge decides that a person (called the “conservatee”) can’t take care of himself or herself or his or her finances. Often, this is because the person is in a coma, is suffering from advanced Alzheimer’s disease, or has some other serious illness or injury. Sometimes, a conservator only manages a conservatee’s financial affairs. This is a conservator of the “estate.” However, a conservator may also manage a conservatee’s daily activities. This is a conservator of the “person.”
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