What can a conservator of estate do to protect himself/herself in Los Angeles?

If you are appointed as a conservator of the estate for someone in Los Angeles County, there are a number of things you need to know to protect yourself when serving in this position and to comply with your duties.

  1. A conservator of the estate is the protector of the estate.
  2. You cannot use the assets or income of the conservatorship estate for your personal benefit.
  3. You cannot pay yourself without a prior court order.
  4. You must insure the property of the estate. Fire, liability and other types of insurance must be investigated.
  5. Never commingle assets of the conservatorship estate with your own assets. This means that you must set up a separate conservatorship account.
  6. Your most important task is to keep accurate books and records of the assets, income and expenses of the conservatee so you can properly account to the court.
  7. Keep paper receipts of all expenditures, even if it is of a small dollar amount.
  8. Ask your conservatorship attorney for advice when you are not sure of the viability of an expense.
  9. Investments in the conservatorship estate are subject to the prudent rule and you must get competent financial advice.
  10. You are responsible for filing the conservatee’s income tax return.

Mina N. Sirkin is a Board Certified attorney in Los Angeles California handling estates, trusts and conservatorships in Los Angeles County, and advising each conservator of the estate in Los Angeles about their duties. Call 818.340.4479 or email us [email protected]