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What are the advantages of a conservatorship?

A conservatorship may be needed if your adult parent becomes incapacitated in some way that prevents him or her from making important life decisions. For example, you might have a parent with dementia that progresses to the point that he or she requires your constant attention and care. If your incapacitated parent has not designated a caretaker with a financial or health care power of attorney, establishing a conservatorship could be a wise move.

A conservatorship, however, will come with some advantages and disadvantages. Let's take a look at the advantages:

  • A conservatorship allows you make decisions for your loved one, and it gives peace of mind to other family members that someone is taking care of their incapacitated loved one.
  • A conservatorship gives you the legal authority to deal with third parties, like banks and investment institutions, on behalf of your loved one.
  • A conservatorship establishes a process by which a judge can approve different vital decisions.

Here are the disadvantages you should be aware of:

  • Establishing a conservatorship involves different financial expenses.
  • A conservatorship can be time-consuming to create, and ongoing paperwork will be required to maintain it.
  • Your incapacitated loved one might feel humiliated by the process.
  • Interfamilial disagreements could come up if relatives disagree over who will serve as conservator.

Does your relative need someone to take care of him or her? A conservatorship could be a good decision for your family; however, it's important to consider all the benefits and disadvantages associated with a conservatorship. After considering the matter closely with the assistance of an estate planning lawyer, you will be able to decide whether a conservatorship is right for your needs.

Source: Caring.com, "How an Adult Guardianship, or Conservatorship, Works," Joseph L. Matthews, Oct. 24, 2017

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