Get Simple Explanations for Complex Questions Schedule a Consultation

What is the role of a court appointed conservator?

Conservator May 27, 2024

If you’ve been appointed as a conservator or are considering seeking conservatorship for a loved one, this post will help you understand what this role entails and how to manage the responsibilities effectively.

What is a Court-Appointed Conservator?

A court-appointed conservator is an individual designated by the court to manage the financial affairs and property of a person who is unable to do so themselves due to incapacity or disability. The person in need of assistance is referred to as the "ward."

When is a Conservator Needed?

Conservatorship is typically necessary when an individual is unable to manage their financial matters due to reasons such as:

  • Elderly Age: Diminished capacity due to aging.

  • Mental or Physical Disability: Conditions that impair the individual’s ability to handle financial responsibilities.

  • Serious Illness or Injury: Situations where the person cannot manage their finances temporarily or permanently.

The Appointment Process

The process of becoming a conservator involves several steps:

  1. Petition the Court: A concerned party, often a family member, must file a petition with the probate court requesting conservatorship.

  2. Provide Evidence: Submit evidence showing that the individual cannot manage their finances. This may include medical evaluations and financial records.

  3. Court Hearing: The court will hold a hearing to assess the need for conservatorship. The proposed conservator and the ward may be required to attend.

  4. Appointment: If the court finds conservatorship necessary, it will issue an order appointing the conservator and outlining their responsibilities.

Responsibilities of a Conservator

As a conservator, you have a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the ward. Your primary responsibilities include:

  1. Financial Management:

    • Budgeting: Create and maintain a budget to manage the ward’s income and expenses.

    • Bill Payments: Ensure all bills, including utilities, mortgage, medical expenses, and taxes, are paid on time.

    • Asset Management: Manage the ward’s assets, including bank accounts, investments, real estate, and personal property.

  2. Record Keeping:

    • Detailed Records: Keep accurate and detailed records of all financial transactions, including receipts, bank statements, and investment reports.

    • Reporting: Regularly report to the court on the ward’s financial status, typically on an annual basis, providing detailed accounts of income, expenses, and asset management.

  3. Protecting Assets:

    • Fraud Prevention: Take steps to protect the ward’s assets from fraud or exploitation.

    • Insurance: Ensure that the ward’s property is adequately insured.

  4. Legal Compliance:

    • Court Orders: Comply with all court orders and legal requirements related to conservatorship.

    • Ethical Standards: Adhere to high ethical standards, acting with honesty, integrity, and in the best interests of the ward.

Challenges Faced by Conservators

Being a conservator can be challenging. Here are some common difficulties:

  • Complex Financial Situations: Managing extensive or complex financial assets can be time-consuming and require specialized knowledge.

  • Family Disputes: Family members may disagree with your decisions, leading to conflicts.

  • Emotional Stress: The responsibility of managing someone else’s finances can be emotionally taxing, especially if the ward is a close family member.

Tips for Effective Conservatorship

To fulfill your role effectively, consider the following tips:

  1. Seek Professional Help: Don’t hesitate to consult with attorneys, financial advisors, and accountants. Their expertise can help you manage the ward’s finances more effectively.

  2. Stay Organized: Keep meticulous records of all financial transactions and court reports. This will help you stay organized and meet legal requirements.

  3. Communicate Clearly: Maintain open and clear communication with the ward (if possible), their family, and the court. This helps build trust and ensures everyone is informed about the ward’s financial situation.

  4. Educate Yourself: Stay informed about the laws and best practices related to conservatorship. Attend workshops, read relevant materials, and seek out resources to enhance your understanding.

Legal Disclaimer

This blog post is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. For specific legal concerns, please contact a qualified attorney. The Probate Law Center is here to help with all your probate needs. Visit us at for more information.


Being a court-appointed conservator is a significant responsibility that requires diligence, organization, and a commitment to acting in the best interests of the ward. By understanding your duties and seeking the right support, you can effectively manage the financial affairs of your loved one. If you have any questions or need assistance with conservatorship or probate matters, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at The Probate Law Center. We’re here to help!