When Family is Not the Right Choice as Conservator

Many situations involve an elderly person who has become so incapacitated that he or she cannot care for himself or herself, but where family members are just not the right choice as conservator. There are times when an attorney representing a professional conservator can help locate and introduce you to a professional fiduciary who can stop the family fights and care for the elderly.

Professional Fiduciaries are licensed individuals who can act as conservators, trustees, executors and also informally by reviewing the case to see if they can appropriately protect the elderly trust or estate.

How do you know when a family member is not the right choice as a conservator?

a) There is no family.

b) Family members have their own financial agenda.

c) Family members cannot agree on basic decisions regarding a parent, disabled or an elderly member’s life.

d) Your lawyer or attorney says they cannot help you and has referred you to get a professional conservator.

Call conservatorship attorney Mina Sirkin who represents professional conservators, non-professional conservators, and professional fiduciaries in Los Angeles. We can help you select a conservator. Call 818.340.4479

List of Important Items for Conservators as described by Mina Sirkin Attorney

There are critical legal items that a conservator must discuss with an attorney when acting as a conservator or when having been appointed as a co-conservator of a person or estate.

The following is a list of some of the important matter, but not a comprehensive one:

  1. Set up the books and records of the conservatorship on day one.
  2. Keep receipts of everything in a paper file with a description of the item.
  3. Do not pay yourself a fee without a prior court order.
  4. Do not reimburse yourself for costs without a prior court order.
  5. Immediately get help from a CPA or accountant to know what you will need to provide at tax time, as you will be responsible to file the conservatee’s tax return, if you are acting as conservator of the estate.
  6. Hire caregivers from reputable agencies.
  7. If you are hiring caregivers privately, you must have an agreement with them, comply with tax withholding laws, and should not work any caregiver more than an 8 hour shift in a day. You must provide state-mandated breaks and lunch periods. Payroll tax is one of the areas of mistakes among conservators.
  8. Carry Workers’ Comp insurance as a rider to the homeowner’s insurance or set it up separately through a company such as Paychex. Let professionals handle all of the payroll requirements.
  9. Be sure you have adequate homeowner’s insurance, liability, fire and worker’s compensation insurance for the conservatorship estate.
  10. Keep your assets separate from the assets of the conservatee. Do not mix your money with the money of the conservatee.
  11. If you have a co-conservator, set up regular meetings in person or by phone to avoid misunderstandings and problems in communication.
  12. If you have a co-conservator, you should each consider having separate counsel.
  13. Conservatorship Fees in Los Angeles can be paid either individually by the client (from the client’s funds) without a court order, or from the assets of the conservatorship estate with a court order. Conservatorship fees cannot be paid from the conservatee’s assets without a prior court order.
  14. One of the most important items to do for a conservator is to check the court’s notations by reviewing all matters pertaining to the conservatorship probate notes in Los Angeles.

Talk to a Conservator’s attorney, by calling Mina Sirkin at 818.340.4479 or meet us at our La County Glendale Pasadena office for attorney help for conservators law in Los Angeles.

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