A conservator is a person appointed by yourself or the court to manage your estate and other aspects of your life should you become incapacitated. Given the nature of their responsibilities, it is important that you choose the right individual for this role.
However, choosing the right conservator can be a daunting task. Here are three questions you need to ask when including a conservator in your estate plan:
Can you trust them?
By bestowing a conservatorship role on an individual, you are basically giving them the power to make decisions and control pretty much every aspect of your life such as where you will live, the treatment you will receive and even the food you will eat. And that is not all. A conservator will be responsible for making important decisions regarding your estate and finances. As such, it is important that you choose an individual of impeccable character for this role. You want someone you can trust to have your best interest at heart always.
Do they have the financial literacy required to manage your estate?
Managing another person’s estate successfully requires sufficient knowledge, especially if the assets in question are complex and diverse. Sometimes, the conservator may have to make the decision to sell a property on behalf of the conservatee. And without sound financial and business skills, the conservator can easily make costly mistakes that can hurt the conservatee’s estate as well as the quality of their life. This explains why you need to nominate someone with sound financial skills for this role.
Are they committed?
Finally, you want someone who will be around for the long haul. Remember, a conservatorship can last for decades, during which the conservator will be required to dedicate their time to oversee your estate besides their own business. In other words, the conservator will be overseeing two estates (yours and theirs) at the same time – and this can be draining. This is why it is in your best interests to find someone who is committed to the role.
No one knows what tomorrow holds so it is important to address your estate plan. As you do so, remember your legal rights when designating a conservator for your estate.