There Are Two Basic Types of Conservatorships In Connecticut
One to manage the conserved person’s financial affairs (Conservator of the Estate) and one to manage their personal affairs (conservator of the Person). The Probate Court may appoint two separate individuals to perform these roles or one person to oversee both.
Conservator of The Estate
The conservator is appointed specifically to manage the finances of a conserved person who is unable to do so by himself or herself. Financial actions include applying for public assistance benefits, as well as handling their assets and income.
Conservator of The Person
The conservator is appointed specifically to maintain the personal needs of the conserved person. Such needs include clothing, food, healthcare, shelter, and safety.
Can You Choose Your Own Conservator In Advance of Incapacity?
You can and you should. You can name your own future and backup conservator of the ESTATE in your Durable Power of Attorney documents. And a future and backup conservator of the PERSON in your Advance Healthcare Directive documents.
If you ever become unable to manage your own financial and/or personal affairs, the person of your choice will be able to petition the Probate Court to become your conservator. The court would have to legally respect your wishes over the claim of anyone else petitioning for your conservatorship.
For more information on Conservatorship Rules in CT:
What Are The Duties of The Conservator of The Person?
The conservator of the person has only those duties specifically assigned by the court, and may include:
- Making decisions about personal care, safety, and comfort.
- Keeping personal effects safe.
If the respondent has named a healthcare representative, the conservator is bound by all healthcare decisions properly made by the healthcare representative, unless there is a court order stating otherwise. This will allow the conservator to make decisions about medical or other professional care (not including a commitment to a hospital for treatment of psychiatric disability).
In addition, the conserved person cannot obtain a marriage license without the written consent of the conservator.
Conservator of the Person Report
This annual report should describe the condition of the conserved person. Including efforts made to encourage his or her independence. As well as a statement by the conservator, indicating whether this appointment is the least restrictive means of intervention for managing the conserved person’s needs.
When Does a Conservator Need To Ask Permission From the Probate Court Before Taking Action?
The conservator must always petition the Probate Court for permission to:
- Place the conserved person in an institution for long-term care.
- Change the conserved person’s residence, tenancy, or lease.
- Dispose of or sell household items.
- Sell, mortgage, or transfer real estate.
- Make gifts from the conserved person’s income or assets.
- Place the conserved person’s funds in insurance or an annuity.
- Consent to psychiatric medication.
- Execute a document to determine the manner in which the remains of a conserved person will be handled after death.
- View, change or delete social media accounts, electronic communications, or other digital assets.
Related Post: Power of Attorney Vs. Conservator – A True Story!
What Are The Duties of the Conservator of The Estate?
In general, the conservator of the estate is responsible for supervising the finances of the conserved person. The conservator should use the least restrictive means of intervention in the exercise of their authority. They must maintain a strict separation of his or her own assets from the conserved person’s assets.
Conservator of The Estate Report
The conservator of the estate is required to file a financial report to the Probate Court regarding the management of the estate. The first report is due one year following the appointment. Subsequent reports are due at least once every three years and even more often if court-ordered.
Once a conservatorship of the estate has come to an end, the conservator is required to submit a final financial report to the Probate Court within two months of the termination. The court will hold a hearing on the financial report. Following by notice to the conserved person and the conserved person’s attorney.
Related Post: What Is A Conservator?
Can a Conservator Get Audited?
Yes. The Probate Court will look into a case to make sure that the conserved person’s estate is being handled with care. The court has the power to order an audit if the court finds that a closer look at the finances is necessary.
In addition, the Probate Court Administrator has the authority to randomly audit accounts and financial reports. Each audit is done by a certified public accountant, who files a written report upon completion of the audit.
The purpose of the audit is to verify that the conservator’s financial records match the figures on the account or report. The conservator has to cooperate with the auditor and provide access to all of the records.
What Records is a Conservator of the Estate Required to Maintain?
The conservator must keep records of all transactions made with regard to the conserved person’s estate. No financial records should be destroyed until the conservator’s final financial report has been approved by the court, the appeal period has passed and any appeal settled. The records should also be kept post-conservatorship for any period of time required by law.
Related Post: Who Has The Legal Power To Make Decisions For You?
How To End a Conservatorship?
There are several possible scenarios that lead to the end of a conservatorship:
- The conserved person can petition the probate court to terminate the conservatorship at any time. No medical evidence is required to prove that the conserved person is capable of taking care of his or her own financial and/or personal affairs. If the court finds that the conserved person is capable, the conservatorship of the estate and/or the conservatorship of the person will be terminated.
- A conservatorship of the ESTATE can be terminated if the conserved person’s assets are below the asset limits allowed for the state supplement program. Currently, the asset limits are $1,600 for an individual and $2,400 for a married couple. In which case the conservator of the estate has to let go of the remaining assets to the conservator of the person or, if there is none, to another appropriate person.
- The Probate Court can choose to terminate a conservatorship during the annual review. The court reviews the Conservatorship 1 year after the conservator was appointed and every three years thereafter. After each review, the court will choose to either continue, modify or terminate the conservatorship.
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