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Definition of Conservatorship

A conservatorship (also called an adult guardianship in some states) establishes the legal right for one person to manage the financial affairs or healthcare of another person if the court determines the person does not have the capability to perform this service on their own.

The conservator is under the court supervision, and the process can be expensive and time-consuming. Court proceedings are public records, and the conservators must provide periodic reports detailing their actions. The courts may require the conservator to seek permission before making major decisions which can include the sale of property or certain health care decisions. If the conservatorship is for financial affairs the conservator may have to post a bond to protect the assets of the conservatee. Unfortunately, it is very easy to mismanage a conservatorship, and abuses can go unnoticed by the state.

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