Circumstances may arise in which someone in your life requires help making important decisions or handling their finances. In this case, you may be motivated to apply for conservatorship. An individual appointed by the court, a conservator makes financial decisions for the protected person, commonly known as a ward. However, conservators are not financially responsible for those in their care. Read on to learn what being a conservator entails and discover how to petition for a conservatorship in Arizona.
What Does Being a Conservator Entail?
Conservators have certain responsibilities in the state of Arizona. If you’ve recently been appointed conservator for a friend or loved one, you should be prepared to file an inventory of your ward’s property within the first 90 days. You must also provide an annual accounting of all activity related to your ward’s estate. These activities may include managing finances, collecting income, budgeting, and paying the ward’s bills. Additionally, conservators are required to take steps to protect wards’ assets and use the Prudent Investor Rule for any investments. It’s crucial that conservators take steps to avoid self-dealing and other conflicts of interest.
What Is the Process of Appointing a Conservator?
You must follow certain steps to be appointed conservator in the state of Arizona. To start, you should petition the court to become a conservator and file the necessary documents. You will also need to petition for the court to appoint an attorney, physician, and court investigator and notify them of their involvement. Additionally, would-be conservators must notify the ward’s relatives of the situation and schedule a hearing. If no one contests your conservatorship, you can apply for the appropriate bond and prepare an order for the judge to sign. After the order is signed, you can file your bond and receive letters of conservatorship allowing you to move forward.
Different rules apply when someone is applying for conservatorship of a minor versus an incapacitated adult. In the case of a minor, the individual’s parents must be notified that a hearing is taking place. Additionally, minors over the age of 14 must be notified before the hearing can occur. When applying for conservatorship of an adult, you will need to consult the adult’s physician to obtain an evaluation.
What Is Required for a Conservatorship Hearing?
The court considers various factors when making decisions about conservatorship. During a conservatorship hearing, the following information may used to determine whether an individual requires a conservator and whether the petitioner should be appointed to the desired position:
- The report by the individual’s physician
- The report by the appointed Court Investigator
- Information about the conservator, including their background and criminal record
- Testimony from the petitioner and ward
- Objections from family members or friends of the ward
The court will review the incapacitated person’s financial assets and estate in the event that they decide to approve conservatorship. Note that the conservator may not act on the ward’s behalf until the time when letters of appointment are issued.
Trust JacksonWhite Law With Your Conservatorship Case
If your family member or loved one is incapable of making decisions, then you might have to step in and assist them. That’s where JacksonWhite Law comes in. Serving Arizona, our experienced Guardianship & Conservatorship team is ready to help you. Contact us below!
Call Guardianship and Conservatorship Attorney Colton Johnston at (480)467-4313 to discuss your case today.
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