Conservatorship and the Power of the Will

When a person is no longer able to make decisions for themselves, such as signing important legal documents, it can help them to have a conservator. In some instances, a person may have had the forethought to name someone in their will they trust to be their conservator long before this ever happens. However, if a person does not name someone as their conservator and they did not create a power of attorney, this can leave family members scrambling to decide what they need to do to protect their loved one. A good attorney will want to ensure that every person’s decisions are respected, which is why he or she can help if you want to create a will and appoint a conservator, or if you are on the other end of this and want to help appoint a conservator if your family member can no longer make decisions for themselves. 

What is a conservator?

You may not have realized that a loved one could appoint a person to make decisions on their behalf if they are in some way incapacitated. However, naming someone as their conservator does just this. Typically, a person can choose to have a conservatorship of the estate and a conservatorship of the person. 

  • Conservator of the estate: The person appointed will take over decisions relating to financial and estate matters.
  • Conservator of the person: This conservator will take over decisions relating to the person’s medical and healthcare decisions. 

Both kinds of conservators are good to have and it is important to decide whether you want to name one person to make both of these decisions. 

When does someone need a conservator?

This is a great question because you may not realize that you or a loved one needs a conservator until it is too late and things become complicated. When a person cannot make decisions for themselves and they do not have a healthcare directive or a power of attorney, it can be highly valuable for them to have a conservator. Depending on how severe the situation with a loved one is, it is possible to go to court to appoint an emergency conservatorship so that someone can be appointed to your loved one sooner rather than later. When this is the case, it can really help to have an attorney on your side who knows which paperwork to file to get this done as quickly as possible.

If you would like to discuss a conservatorship position in your will or if you would like help appointing a conservator for your loved one, contact a wills and trusts lawyer, like a wills and trusts lawyer in Sacramento, CA, today. 


Thanks to Yee Law Group, PC for their insight into the conservatorship position in a will.