There are a variety of ways in which we may assist our aging and ailing loved ones and family members. Offering support can mean providing help in a variety of ways ranging from assisting with upkeep of a residence to providing transportation to giving financial advice. In some cases, however, the relative or friend may require more than just some occasional help. Once this loved one is no longer able to make proper financial decisions or take care of day to day needs, it may be necessary to seek a conservatorship. In a conservatorship, the conservator will be responsible for making sure the conservatee’s daily care is provided for, as well as overseeing and administering the conservatee’s financial estate, such as paying bills. In some unfortunate situations, the conservator may not discharge his or her duties appropriately, and other friends and family members may seek to have the conservator removed.
Removing a conservator will require filing a petition with the probate court that appointed the conservator. The petition will need to detail allegations as to why removal of the conservator is appropriate and necessary. A conservator will likely not be removed simply because other family members think that he or she is not the right choice. Instead, those seeking to remove the conservator will need to demonstrate that the conservator has breached his or her fiduciary duty to the conservatee. A breach of fiduciary duty would include actions such as using the conservatee’s funds for personal expenses of the conservator or failing to ensure that the conservatee’s regular expenses are paid.
Not just any person off the street can challenge a conservator and request the removal of a conservator. Rather, only those defined as “interested persons” may seek to have a conservator removed. An interested person may include a variety of people, including a spouse or adult child of the conservatee, an adult who lived with the conservatee for six months or more, or an attorney for the conservatee. An interested person can demonstrate to the court that the current conservator is not properly discharging his or her duties, and request a new conservator be appointed
Conservatorship can be complicated and nuanced. Contact us today at (651) 371-9117 for a consultation to talk about conservatorship, your loved ones, and your rights.