The short answer to this question is YES, but let’s delve a little deeper.
A conservator is a person appointed by the court to manage the financial affairs and estate of an adult person that becomes incapacitated. A conservator can be appointed for a minor. Conservators are responsible for duties such as:
- Paying bills
- Managing bank accounts
- Selling real estate (with permission from the courts)
- Purchasing property
- Filing taxes
- Managing investments
Basically, a conservator can be in charge of another person’s entire estate, sometimes with little supervision. If that person is not 100% trustworthy, it may be all too tempting to commit fraud and steal money or goods from the person they are supposed to protect. Unfortunately, the protected person is often completely unaware of the situation so it is a good idea for their loved ones to keep a close eye on the estate.
If you suspect that the conservator is committing illegal acts, you can bring it to the court’s attention. This will require sufficient evidence and proof that the conservator is committing a crime and it may be a lengthy legal process. An probate litigator can help you pursue legal action and take steps to reacquire the protected person’s assets and income. Keep in mind that it may not be possible to completely restore the items and money that were stolen from the estate.
Ways a Conservator Can Steal
Forget the image of a cat burglar dressed all in black, sneaking out of your home with a large bag of your family’s silver and precious gems. Stealing from a protected person is often more subtle.
- Cashing checks that arrive in the mail and pocketing the money
- Transferring money from the protected person’s bank account into their own
- Selling property without notifying the protected person and keeping the money
- Hiring their friends to perform unnecessary tasks and using the estate to pay for the services
- Coercing the protected person to change their will, leaving more assets to the conservator
If you suspect that a conservator for someone you love is being unscrupulous, it is best to seek legal guidance from an estate planning expert in Denver to ensure that you are following the proper steps, obtaining sufficient evidence, filling out the correct forms and filing them in a timely manner. The team at Brown & Crona, LLC have the expertise to move this process along quickly, while being respectful of the delicate situation.
To get help with conservatorship problems in Denver contact Brown & Crona, LLC to arrange an appointment: (303) 339-3750 or visit our website.