A Conservatorship is the same as a Guardianship, in that it is authority granted by the Probate Court, to act for another. It is different, because a Conservatorship authorizes one person to handle another's business affairs.
Conservatorships can be helpful to protect the assets of a person, whose mental incapacity, or youth, might render them vulnerable to scam artists. In cases where a minor (under age 18) comes into possession of more than $5,000.00 per year, Michigan's Probate Code requires that the money be paid through a Conservator, and in turn, that means a Probate Court filing.
Also, you should note that it may be necessary to set up a Conservatorship in order to handle personal injury litigation. Many attorneys do not handle both personal injury litigation and probate; when their clients require the protection of a Probate Court, many of those attorneys refer their clients to me for Probate Court setup. Because I do handle both personal injury (auto accident, no-fault insurance claims, premises/slip & fall claims), I can offer both convenience and lower client costs.
When is Conservatorship Necessary?
The standards are pretty much the same as for Guardianships, except that we are talking about the ward’s inability to care for their own business and financial affairs, instead of their personal, medical and housing concerns.
- Do medical, mental, psychological, or other permanent conditions make it impossible for someone you care about, to properly manage their money or property? As a result, does your loved one need help, in making financial or other business decisions?
- Is a Conservatorship needed because someone you care for, has had an auto accident that makes them unable to make medical, housing and other personal decisions for themselves?
- Does the person to be protected need to retain a lawyer, e.g., after an accident; most attorneys will require that a person vulnerable enough to need a Guardian, have a Conservator, to sign any attorney retainer agreements.