Learn About Setting Up a Conservatorship in Arizona
Our legal team can help you gain responsibility for the financial affairs of a child or an incapacitated loved one
A conservatorship is a form of legal authority held by one person over the property of another. It may be granted by a court to manage and protect the assets of a child or of an adult who can no longer handle their financial affairs due to a mental or physical disability. At Pennington Law, PLLC, our experienced legal team assists people throughout Arizona in setting up conservatorships for loved ones.
What is the difference between a conservatorship and a guardianship?
A conservator oversees the funds and other assets of an individual — known as the ward — in order to protect that property and to manage the ward’s financial affairs. Guardianships are broader roles that include authority over multiple aspects of the ward’s life, such as housing, medical care and other needs and activities. Depending on the ward’s circumstances, both a conservator and a guardian may be appointed or one person may serve in both capacities.
How can you file for a conservatorship?
Creating a conservatorship requires filing a petition with the Superior Court Probate Division, describing the need to protect an individual and stating the assets that may be involved. In the case of an incapacitated adult, the court will appoint an attorney to represent him or her. You will then go through a hearing at which the court will receive testimony and evidence in support of and possibly against the petition, including evidence of your qualifications to take on conservator responsibilities. If the court agrees that a conservatorship is necessary and that you qualify, Letters of Appointment will be issued. Our legal team can counsel you throughout the proceedings.
What are the roles and responsibilities of a conservator?
Conservators are given legal authority to manage the property and financial affairs of their wards. This role includes handling day-to-day financial obligations, buying or selling properties and other assets and overseeing the ward’s investments and business activities, if any. A conservatorship is a fiduciary position, which means that you must complete a training program given by the state court. Our legal team will help you establish your qualifications and will advise you on your powers and responsibilities.
When does a conservatorship end?
A conservatorship can be limited in time or be long term. It can end when a child reaches age 18 or on a later date if a child has special needs. In the case of an adult, a petition to terminate the conservatorship can be filed alleging the ward has regained sufficient mental or physical faculties to manage his or her own financial affairs. Conservators who no longer wish to perform their duties can remove themselves by filing a termination form with the court, in which case a substitute may be appointed.
What is the difference between a conservatorship and a durable power of attorney?
A durable power of attorney is a document authorizing one person to act in another’s behalf in certain designated circumstances, such as if the person creating the power becomes mentally or physically incapacitated and is unable to make financial decisions or to manage their assets. This document is often created as part of estate planning. There may be situations where even if a power of attorney is in place, a conservatorship may still be necessary, such as when there are allegations of abuse of power. If you believe a loved one is in such circumstances, our attorneys can advise you on how to proceed.
Contact an efficient Arizona attorney for assistance setting up a conservatorship
At Pennington Law, PLLC, in Arizona, we assist people in Sun City West, Surprise and throughout the greater Phoenix area in becoming court-appointed conservators. To schedule a free consultation, call our firm at 623-208-7867 or contact us online.