If you have been appointed or may soon be appointed as the conservator of a minor child or an adult there are court instructions and procedures you must be aware of. Many people assume once they are appointed as conservator the process is complete and there are no further steps or instructions. However, in the best interest of the child or adult (conservatee) and their finances, the court maintains some control and requires continued insight as to how the person’s affairs are being handled and managed. With this intent and focus in mind the court in Kansas requires a few additional steps after a conservatorship has been established.
Letters of Guardianship and Bond
After the court hearing when guardianship is established, the judge will sign and provide the conservator with the signed Order. The court will then issue the conservator Letters of Guardianship, which stand as the conservator’s proof that conservatorship has been established, and granting authority to make decisions on behalf of the adult or minor child. In order to retain the Letters of Guardianship many counties in Kansas require that a bond be set unless this is waived. Once the Letters of Guardianship are issued, the conservator is now responsible for protecting the person’s property or estate. The State law’s of Kansas and the court define your power, as conservator, and set the rules and guidelines you are required to follow as long as you remain conservator of a person’s property. First and foremost, as the conservator, you must always act in the best interest of the conservatee.
Bank Account, Inventory and Accounting
The first order of business will usually be for you to open a bank account in your name as Conservator, under the conservatee’s social security number. This account will allow you to pay any necessary bills and the ability to manage the conservatee’s funds in any way necessary. Kansas also requires that within 30 days of receiving the Letters of Guardianship you must also submit an Inventory to the court. This Inventory will contain a list assessment of all of the property and assets in the conservatee’s name. This list gives the court an idea of what property the estate contains at the outset of the conservator’s appointment. Every year after the initial Inventory is filed with the court, it is required that an annual Accounting also be submitted for the court’s review.
Conservatee’s Desires and Best Interest
Throughout the appointment as a conservator, this person must act in the best interest of the conservatee and his or her needs. A guardian is responsible for the conservatee’s needs as a person, therefore a conservator’s duty is to protect the person’s financial and estate needs. The conservator and conservatee will work as closely as possible to ensure the conservatee’s desires are met and his or her wishes are see through to fruition in a variety of capacities. The conservator is not personally required to support the conservatee with their own personal funds, however if they are a spouse or other close relative there may be an independent obligation of support.
If you have been recently appointed or will be recently appointed as a Conservator and have questions as to the process or responsibilities of the position, our firm can help. Our experienced team of family law attorneys has extensive knowledge in the area of conservatorship and has helped many people through the conservatorship process. We will put your family at ease throughout the court process and take care of everything so you don’t have to. Call the seasoned Kansas Family Law Attorney at McDowell Chartered Legal Services today at (316) 633-4322 to see how we can successfully assist you with your conservatorship matter.