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Conservatorship may help with estate planning

Conservatorship is a way to keep a person's estate and affairs in order if or when they are not able to do it for themselves. The most common subjects of a conservatorship are people with mental limitations, either through a disability or disease.

Many people include conservatorship in their estate plans, as mental faculties may decline later in life when estate planning is more important. A conservator may ensure that a person's assets can be used properly to maintain their health and business interests, including those for the good of their families.

Connecticut's probate courts ultimately decide who may serve as a conservator, although the reasonable wishes of a petitioner are considered. Some indigent cases may be managed directly by the Commissioner of Social Services.

A conservator's main duty is to manage the financial affairs of the conserved person, but this often extended to other forms of care that must also be financed. The conservator must also complete a full inventory of the person's assets and properties within two months of the appointment by the court.

If the person has any legal responsibilities, such as the care of minor children or offices with any organizations, the conservator must tend to the fulfillment or disposition of those responsibilities. This is why many people select future conservators who are familiar with their life obligations so nothing is left to chance.

Legal representation in probate court is often advisable to increase the chances of an agreeable conservatorship arrangement. An attorney can help refine estate planning including conservatorship options so assets are easier to manage.

Source: Probate Courts of Connecticut, "Guidelines for Conservators," accessed April 26, 2018

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