If you have been named a conservator of an estate by the courts, this means you have been selected to handle the financial affairs on behalf of an incapacitated adult who is still living. This can occur if the incapacitated adult did not specify an agent under durable financial power of attorney. While appointment as a conservator or agent under power of attorney should be viewed as the highest compliment, it also comes with a lot of responsibility. As such, conservators are entitled to compensation from the estate and they can also seek legal assistance to help with these duties (also paid for by the estate).
The Colorado Probate Code states that any compensation paid to a fiduciary, including a Conservator, must be reasonable. There are a series of factors to be determined under the statute when it comes to arriving at a reasonable figure including any “special skills” that the fiduciary has that aid in the efficient administration of the estate. These special skills can include the fiduciaries’ educational background and job history. The statute does not set specific dollar amounts.
Not All Conservators Get Paid
When family members or close family friends are appointed as conservators, they typically will not get compensation for their time with the estate. This is because they will want to act in the very best interest of the Respondent. Any monies taken from the estate to pay for these services will ultimately diminish the amount that is available to care for the incapacitated person. Certain out-of-pocket expenses can be reimbursed but a full salary may not be permitted. Every situation will be unique. A Denver conservatorship lawyer can help you determine the right course of action in these cases.
Duties of a Conservator
Depending on the size and complexity of the estate, being a conservator in Denver can become a full-time job. The role will include responsibilities such as:
- Paying monthly bills
- Managing investments
- Determining the value of property or real estate
- Purchasing small and large items
- Selling large items like a car, home or rental property
- Filing tax returns
- Filing appropriate forms with the state regarding financial dealings
- Getting court approval for certain duties
The conservatorship can be terminated at any time, especially if it is discovered that the conservator is mishandling the estate in any way. The conservator is required to keep detailed records of all transactions and file annual reports with the Court so they remain accountable to the estate. If a conservator’s role is is terminated due to mismanagement, the conservator can be sued to recover the monies lost out of the estate.
To learn more about estate planning and conservatorships in Denver, contact Brown & Crona, LLC to arrange an appointment: (303) 339-3750 or visit our website.