What is a Conservator?

There are two types of guardians you can appoint for your minor child. The first is someone who will oversee their day-to-day care, such as choosing the schools they’ll attend, deciding which faith they’ll be raised in and making decisions regarding any medical treatments they might need.

The other type of guardian is someone who manages your child’s property and assets until they come of age. This kind of guardian is more commonly known as a conservator and it can require some special knowledge and skills.

Depending upon the inheritance you leave behind, your conservator may need to make investment decisions, buy and sell assets and negotiate real estate deals. These decisions must typically be approved by the court and a regular accounting of the child’s assets must be provided by the conservator.

Of course, your conservator can enlist the help of qualified professionals, such as attorneys, stock brokers and the like, but you still need to choose someone who’s generally good at managing money and understands some of the complexities of the financial world.

Smaller estates on the other hand, may not require such extensive knowledge. A standard savings account for example, may just need someone to oversee the funds until the child reaches the age of majority.

Still, because of the time and effort that managing an estate can take, it is common for a conservator to be paid for their time. And because most of the documents for the court will probably be prepared by a lawyer, their fees may come out of your child’s inheritance.

For further information on property guardians, guardianships and trusts, talk to an estate planning attorney who can help you make the best choice for your child’s property.

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