What Is A Conservatorship?

A conservatorship is a court action which appoints someone to handle your money and property.

A conservator is appointed when the court determines you cannot manage your own property and affairs for reasons such as a mental or physical illness or disability, advanced age, chronic use of drugs, chronic intoxication, confinement, detention by a foreign power, or disappearance.

Under North Dakota law the Conservator’s powers must be limited to only those financial or business functions which you are no longer able to handle.

What Is A Full Conservatorship?

A full conservatorship gives the conservator appointed by the court control over all your money and property.

It is ordered when a court has determined that you are not able to handle any of your financial affairs.

What Is A Limited Conservatorship?

A limited conservatorship gives the conservator the power to handle a “limited” number of financial duties. The limited duties of the conservator are those which the court decides you are not able to handle.

What Are The Conservator’s Duties?

1. The conservator is responsible for managing your property and is accountable to the court for how the property is used.

2. The conservator must also give the court an amount of money, called a bond. This bond ensures the conservator faithfully discharges all duties in your best interest and in accordance with the law. The court may waive the bond requirement.

3. The conservator must prepare and file with the court a complete listing of your property.

4. If a court has decided that you cannot manage your own property, then only a conservator can change ownership on real property you own.

Can A Conservatorship Be Removed?

A conservatorship can be removed in one of several ways:

1. If your property is used up, the conservatorship ends.

2. You, your personal representative, the conservator, or any interested party has the right to request the court to redetermine the need for the conservatorship.

3. The court will hold a new hearing and consider new evidence. If the court finds that you are capable of handling your financial affairs, the court can “limit” or “end” the conservatorship.

Are There Alternatives?

In addition to a limited conservatorship, there are a number of alternatives that can be used.

  • Giving someone a power of attorney to handle your financial affairs.
    • Incapacitation invalidates a power of attorney.
    • A “durable” power of attorney can remain valid if you become incapacitated.

• Co-Signers on Bank Accounts: the owner of the account is able to have a trusted individual/relative assist them with paying bills, and that trusted individual is not seen or treated as an equal owner of the asset/account.

• Having someone appointed Representative Payee to handle your Social Security income; or

• Creating a trust.

How Will I Know If A Conservatorship is Being Sought For Me?

You and your closest relatives must be given a notice.

If you do not want this to happen, you have a right to challenge the procedure.

You have the right to an attorney and to a hearing.

Who Do I Contact With Additional Questions?

Seniors 60 and over Call:

Others Call:

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