Sometimes people need a little help. For example, Alma’s car was repossessed last week. She forgot to pay her bills for several months due to her rapidly progressing Alzheimer’s disease. After Todd suffered a serious brain injury in a car accident, no one was available to manage his real estate holdings and his investments. At age 19, Jill was able to hold a job despite her intellectual disability. However, she impulsively gave several of her paychecks to people who took advantage of her naivety. In all three of the scenarios, an individual was unable to handle his or her financial affairs. If you know someone in similar situations, it may be time to wonder if your loved one needs a conservatorship.

What is a conservatorship?

A conservatorship occurs when a probate court appoints someone to manage an incapacitated person’s financial affairs. Conservators generally are required to post a bond and keep records of all transactions made on behalf of the incapacitated person. In Alabama, the law requires a conservator to file an inventory with the court within 90 days of appointment.

An incapacitated person is “someone who is physically and/or mentally unable to care for himself or herself.” Someone may become incapacitated due to an illness, an injury, or a drug or alcohol addiction. In some cases, the incapacitated person may be in confined in jail or by a foreign power or simply may have disappeared. When a person is unable or unavailable to handle their financial affairs, they may need a conservatorship.

How will I know if my loved ones will need a conservatorship?

Watch for signs like:

  • Confusion about financial affairs,
  • Property and possession disappearing,
  • Drug or alcohol abuse,
  • Out-of-control behavior,
  • Spending money on unnecessary items,
  • Evictions and repossessions.

People of any age may need a conservatorship. In fact, two of the most famous conservatorships involve young entertainers Britney Spears and Amanda Bynes. Both became famous and wealth at an early age. As their behavior seemed to spiral out of control, family members set up conservatorships to prevent them from financial and personal self-destruction.

Will your loved one need a conservatorship at some point?

Becoming responsible for someone else’s financial affairs may be difficult, but necessary. If you need to set up a conservatorship for a loved one, contact a lawyer immediately.

If you don’t need help now, talk to an attorney about ways to avoid guardianships and conservatorships.

Anniston attorney Bruce Adams has the experience to help you with a conservatorship or guardianship. Please contact Bruce at 256-237-3339 to set up an appointment or use our convenient Contact Form. Our office is located in Anniston, Alabama, but we assist clients in surrounding Calhoun, Cleburne, Etowah, and St. Clair Counties.