( Conservatorship )

What is a Conservator?

A conservator is a person appointed by the Probate Court to oversee the financial or personal affairs of an adult. In an involuntary conservatorship, a conservator is appointed only if the court determines that the individual is unable to care for him or herself, or unable to manage his or her financial affairs. In a voluntary conservatorship, the court appoints a conservator on the request of an adult who seeks assistance in managing his or her affairs, without making a finding that the individual is incapable.

There are two kinds of conservators.

  • A conservator of the person supervises personal affairs and ensures that the person's basic needs, including food, shelter, clothing and health care, are met.

 

  • A conservator of the estate supervises financial affairs, including caring for property, managing bank accounts and ensuring the safe handling of the person's income.

Often, the Probate Court will appoint a family member of the individual, or his or her close friend, as the conservator. Sometimes the court will appoint someone else, such as a lawyer. The court tries to determine who the conserved person prefers but, if a conflict exists, may appoint an uninterested party.