What Are the Duties of a Conservator?
Sept. 22, 2022
There may come a time when your loved ones are no longer able to care for themselves or make important decisions on their own. Individuals who lack the capacity to manage their property or affairs may require legal protection from their family members or friends. The legal protection is known as “conservatorship” in Tennessee.
If you want to protect your loved one, you may be seeking a conservatorship to become a conservator. “But, what are the duties of a conservator?” some of you may wonder. The knowledgeable attorneys at Brazil Clark, PLLC represent individuals who take on the duties of a conservator in Nashville, Tennessee, and throughout Rutherford County.
Duties Associated With the Conservatorship of the Person
There are two types of conservatorships recognized by Tennessee law: a conservatorship of the person and a conservatorship of the estate. In many cases, a conservator may be appointed to serve as both the conservator of the person and the estate.
The former is granted by the court when an adult person is incapacitated and unable to make important decisions on their own but usually has no assets that require further protection.
The duties of a conservator of the person include:
Protecting the conservatee’s safety. One of the most fundamental duties associated with a conservatorship of the person is ensuring the safety and well-being of the conservatee, especially in situations where the conservatees pose a danger to themselves (e.g., due to a mental illness).
Making important decisions on behalf of the conservatee. A person appointed by the court to serve as someone’s conservator will make decisions about the conservatee’s personal matters.
Overseeing the medical care. Unless the conservatee has a durable power of attorney or another document that appoints a healthcare agent, the conservator will be responsible for overseeing the conservatee’s medical care.
Acting in the best interests of the conservatee. When a person becomes a conservator, they enter into a fiduciary relationship with the conservatee, meaning that they must always act in the best interests of the conservatee.
These are not the only duties of a conservator when establishing a conservatorship of the person. Consider contacting a skilled attorney to learn about your other duties and responsibilities as a conservator.
Duties Associated With the Conservatorship of the Estate
A conservator of the estate is appointed to protect the assets of the incapacitated person. This type of conservatorship is appropriate when an adult person is unable to manage their financial affairs and property. Some of the duties associated with a conservatorship of the estate include:
Filing an inventory of the assets. A conservator of the estate must prepare an inventory of the conservatee’s assets and file it with the court. This will transfer all bank and investment accounts of the conservatee into the conservator’s name to ensure their protection.
Developing a management plan. One of the duties of a conservator is to develop a management plan that specifies the manner in which the conservatee’s assets will be used in the coming year.
Preparing a detailed accounting. At the end of each year, a conservator must prepare a detailed accounting of the income and expenditures.
Closing the conservatee’s estate. If the conservatee dies, the conservator of the estate will be responsible for filing a final account of the conservatee’s financial affairs to close the estate and be discharged from their responsibilities as a conservator.
Serving as a conservator is no easy task because conservators often have to make tough decisions on behalf of the conservatee and ensure their full compliance with all applicable conservatorship statutes and regulations.
Determining Which One Is For You
If you believe that your family member or friend is incapable of managing their affairs or property due to a temporary or permanent disability, you may be considering establishing a conservatorship and becoming a conservator. But, which option would be best in your particular case: a conservatorship of the person or conservatorship of the estate?
A conservatorship of the person is appropriate when a person is incapable of taking care of themselves or managing their personal affairs; and
A conservatorship of the estate is appropriate when a person is incapacitated to the extent that their property will be wasted without appointing another person to supervise the management of the property.
Everyone’s situation is different, which is why you may need to consult with an experienced conservatorship attorney to determine which one best fits your unique case. The knowledgeable estate planning attorneys at Brazil Clark, PLLC can walk you through the process of establishing a conservatorship and ensure that your loved one’s property and affairs are taken care of.
Get Help From an Experienced Attorney
If you are considering petitioning the court to become a conservator or were appointed to serve as a conservator of the person or estate, you may need to consult with an experienced attorney in Nashville, Tennessee, to understand your duties and responsibilities. The conservatorship attorneys at Brazil Clark, PLLC can help you understand the duties of a conservator to make sure that you make informed decisions on behalf of the conservatee. Call for a consultation today.