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What is the duty of an estate conservator?

There are many reasons why an estate may need a conservator. A conservator has a very important role to play in the life of a vulnerable person, so it is important for Minnesota residents to know what their duties are. This is especially important because probate litigation may be necessary if a conservator is found to not be doing their job.

A conservator is a person who is given financial power over a protected person. A protected person is someone who is a minor, incapacitated, or has a protective order. Usually these people are not able to make financial decisions on their own and are thus in need the help of a conservator. A conservator is in charge of paying for a person's every day needs, including food and housing, incidentals, medical expenses, clothing, education, etc. A conservator has a far-reaching impact on a person's well-being, so they need to be chosen carefully. Attempts are made to ensure that conservators are living up to their duties by forcing them to file an annual accounting to the court to show what they have done over the past year.

Since a conservator has tremendous power, it is important that they are chosen carefully. A legal professional who is skilled in conservatorships can help a family address their legal needs, which may include dealing with conservatorships. Experienced legal professionals can make sure a conservator is doing their job and if there is a question of fraud they can investigate. It is important that a family make sure their loved one is being appropriately and that a conservator is doing their job. When questions arise as to a conservator's ability to fulfill his or her duties, then a legal professional may be necessary to help settle the dispute.

A conservator has a very important role in a person's life. They make decisions for an individual who is unable to make them on their own. This means that choosing a conservator can have life-long implications. For this reason, it is important that these conservators are held to high standards and are not taking advantage of their protected person.

Source: Minnesota Attorney General, "Conservatorship and guardianship", accessed on Feb. 12, 2017

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