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How to choose the right conservator for your estate

Few among us want to think about what will happen in the event we are suddenly incapacitated. Who will ensure we get medical care according to our wishes? Who will pay our bills?

In many states, the terms “conservator” and “guardian” are used interchangeably. However, in California, the person who oversees the affairs of an incapacitated adult is known only as a “conservator.”

Choosing the right person to be the conservator of your estate is not an easy process. The skill and care required for carrying out someone else’s wishes lie in only a few people in a given person’s life. Below, we outline some of the qualities to look for in a potential conservator.

Trust

Most importantly, the right person to manage your estate is someone you trust to understand and carry out your wishes. The issues a conservator must deal with, medical care, property, living conditions, and finances, to name a few, are among the most essential in someone’s life. Ensure the person you choose has your unwavering trust.

Knowledge of finance

A conservator often must make decisions regarding the management of real estate, living expenses, investments, and more. Someone with experience in the finance world is especially helpful in this arena, as well as planning your estate. It also helps to look at how someone manages their own financial affairs.

Commitment

Finally, ensure the person you choose as conservator is willing and able to take on the time commitment. If someone has an especially demanding job, they may not have the time to dedicate the amount of attention necessary to effectively manage someone else’s affairs.

In many cases, someone will choose a conservator who is a close relative. However, the law does not require them to be. Consider these qualities to select the person who will best ensure you and your assets are adequately cared for.

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