Conservatorships Blog
Paw Paw - Conservatorship Law Blog

SSA and Conservatorships

Posted December 3, 2018

In many situations, a person's sole source of income is Social Security or Veteran's Administration benefits. A conservatorship may be avoided in such cases by having a person appointed payee to receive the benefits on behalf of the person. The payee would then expend such money for the benefit of that person. The payee is administratively appointed by the Social Security Administration or the Veteran's Administration. No probate court action is necessary and the probate court does not supervise the receipt or disbursement of such sums.

Estates and Protected Individuals Code (EPIC)


Posted November 15, 2018

Conservators are particular types of "fiduciaries". The word "fiduciary" is a derivative from the Latin word "fides" meaning faith, honesty or honor. A fiduciary is one appointed by the Court or by a legal document such as a will, trust or power of attorney, who has a duty to act primarily for the benefit of another. In a minor conservatorship, the minor may also be referred to as the "protected individual".

In minor conservatorships the assets are normally placed in restricted accounts. This usually relieves the conservator of the burden of accounting to the Court until the minor turns 18. The Court does require a Verification of Funds on Deposit, along with a current account summary or monthly statement from the financial institution, to be filed each year.

When the minor turns 18 the conservator must file a Minor Conservator - Final Account, Waiver, Consent and Order Form . The Final Account shows all receipts, disbursements, during the accounting period. It will also show the property remaining in the hands of the fiduciary at the end of the accounting period, together with the form of such property. The Waiver and Consent portion of the form is signed by the minor and indicates that the minor has seen the Final Account and consents to the allowance of the account without hearing. The order allows the Final Account and authorizes the financial institution to turn over the assets to the ward. Upon filing a Receipt of Ward and Discharge signed by the ward, the conservator will normally be discharged.


Commingling of Funds:

Posted October 1, 2018

A fiduciary is absolutely forbidden from combining his or her own funds or properties together with the ward's assets. The most common violation here is creation of joint accounts. A fiduciary must handle the assets of the estate with the greatest care. A fiduciary can be held personally liable for failure in this duty. A fiduciary must not transact deals where the fiduciaries own self-interest is opposed to his or her duty to the estate. A fiduciary may not purposely use the estate in a manner that is against the interest of the estate. A fiduciary may not borrow or purposely use funds or properties from the estate for the fiduciaries own purpose. Fiduciaries are held to the strictest standards of conduct in regard to estates. If you have a question on whether your proposed action in an estate is lawful, you are advised to contact an attorney for legal advice.