What is Conservatorship?
If a child under the age of 18 receives a settlement or life insurance proceeds, a conservatorship needs to be established. Under Michigan laws, children under the age of 18 are not allowed to receive money. Unlike a guardian who can make major life decisions, a conservator is only in charge of the finances of a child. Conservators can be parents or friends.
In addition to minors, a conservatorship can be important tool for helping an elderly relative manage his/her finances when expensive care options are overwhelming. This is an alternative when a Power of Attorney or Advanced Directive is not in place. As you might expect, this is not a pleasant or simple alternative, but can be necessary when a loved one is no longer able to make responsible financial, medical and life choices and he or she has not made other arrangements. The elderly person must be examined and determined to be medically incompetent. The court can then appoint a guardian or conservator. A guardian is responsible for the “care” of the elderly relative or friend. A conservator is responsible for the elderly person’s finances. Sometimes the guardian and conservator are the same person. Sometimes the two tasks are intentionally separated to make sure that two people agree what is best.
What if the Money Is Being Spent Frivolously?
As a conservator, you have to file an annual accounting to show how the money is spent. If the money is spent frivolously, the court may remove the conservator. Often a guardian ad litem is appointed to review the work of the conservator. A guardian ad litem looks out for the best interests of the child or elderly person. The guardian ad litem will review the accounting and make recommendations to the court to determine if the spending is appropriate.
If you or someone you love needs to establish a conservatorship for a minor child or an elderly parent contact our Michigan estate planning and family law firm, Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates at 248-676-1000.
Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates have many satisfied clients throughout the five counties of Southeastern Michigan – Oakland, Washtenaw, Wayne, Genesee and Livingston. The Michigan Family Law Attorneys of Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates have one simple objective: to handle our clients’ legal worries so they can concentrate on life and family. Contact Kathryn Wayne-Spindler & Associates today to learn more about our experience and success at 248-676-1000. We are conveniently located in Milford, Michigan. We help clients throughout Milford; Highland; Hartland; White Lake; Commerce; Waterford; West Bloomfield; Walled Lake; South Lyon; New Hudson; Wixom; Linden; Holly; Fenton; Grand Blanc; Flint and many more local communities.