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Parties who qualify to act as a conservator

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2021 | Estate Planning

A conservatorship allows a responsible person to make decisions for another adult in such areas as personal finances. The situation typically involves some sort of cognitive disability on the part of the person who holds the estate.

The role of a conservator calls for specific duties and responsibilities that require a high level of trust.

Naming the right person

Information from California Courts indicates that many individuals can qualify as a conservator, as long as they have the best interests of the conservatee in mind. The person who needs help with managing his or her affairs can name an appropriate person. Typically, the conservator comes from someone on this list:

  • Spouse or domestic partner
  • A close relative
  • An interested person or friend
  • An interested state or local entity

In most cases, the court will appoint the proposed person as the conservator; however, if the court decides the proposed party does not represent the conservatee’s best interests, it could decline the recommendation.

Appointing the best party

In some situations, the conservatee does not have the capacity to name the party they want as his or her conservator. In these cases, the court appoints the party. Each person on the list must have the qualifications and the desire to serve as a conservator. Precedent requires the court to follow a list of preferences in a specific order.

  1. Spouse or domestic partner
  2. Adult child
  3. Parent
  4. Sibling
  5. A person the law declares suitable
  6. Public guardian

The choice of a conservator remains one important choice when establishing a conservatorship. Estates should also closely consider what type of conservatorship serves the best interests of the party requiring assistance.