Will your dependents be cared for when you are gone? Conservatorships are the best way to ensure financial stability for children and protected persons currently under your care. In addition to choosing a guardian for the day-to-day care of your children or disabled adults, you can choose a conservator to manage and oversee how funds are used for their care.
Responsibilities of a Conservator in New Mexico
When a conservator is appointed to handle the financial accounts and matters of a minor, that conservator has the responsibility to use available resources to pay any bills, living expenses, and other expenses, either directly or in conjunction with the guardian. Conservatorships expire once the child reaches adulthood (age 18 in New Mexico) unless a judge extends the appointment.
If you are setting up a conservatorship for a protected person, the named conservator should work with an experienced elder law attorney to ensure that resources and how they are used do not disqualify that dependent from Medicaid assistance when long-term care becomes necessary.
Choosing a Conservator
You can nominate anyone to act as conservator, but it should be someone you can trust that you know is good with personal finances. The conservator does not have to be the same as the guardian. In fact, if you trust the guardian to care for your children but know that they are bad with finances, enlisting the aid of a separate conservator is the best way to make sure your children have everything they need. You may also want to consider nominating a professional conservator such as a bank or trust company.
Consult with one of our experienced New Mexico estate planning attorneys to discuss what to look for when choosing a conservator.
Establishing a New Mexico Conservatorship
If a conservator is appropriate for your children, the judge will appoint one as part of the probate process. If you need to establish or change a conservator for an incapacitated adult, a separate legal process will be required and an attorney should be consulted.
Curious about conservatorships or other estate planning tools? Contact one of our highly skilled attorneys today for more information.