Nassau County Conservatorships

Whether it is due to the natural aging process, a serious illness, or a terrible accident, it is possible that one day you may not be able to manage your affairs. Even though it may be unpleasant to think about such a possible situation, it is a good idea to face the possibility and plan. Estate planning tools such as an advanced health care directive, a trust, or powers of attorney will make it much easier for those you trust to manager your financial and healthcare affairs according to your wishes. In the absence of such documents a judge may be required to get involve and establish a conservatorship. A court appointed conservator will handle both your medical and financial affairs. NY MHY LAW § 81.06. To learn about advanced health care directives and other the estate planning tools that you should consider creating now in order to ensure that your wishes are followed should you become mentally incapacitated, contact a Nassau County conservatorships lawyer who will be able to help you develop a comprehensive estate plan consistent with your goals.

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Conservators

While court will consider input from family members as to who should be your conservator, the court has discretion to appoint anyone it chooses. A court will look to appointing a family member such as the spouse, an adult child or a parent. However, it is possible that the court will appoint a non-family member such as a friend, or event a stranger. The conservatorship will remain in effect until your condition improves. If your condition does not improve, the conservatorship may remain in place for the rest of your life and will end once you pass away. NY MHY LAW § 81.36.

There are 2 type of conservators. A "conservator of the person" is appointed to make decisions about your personal well-being will make decisions about your healthcare and other aspects of your personal well-being. A "conservator of the estate" is appointed to make decisions about your finances. While in some cases one person is appointed to fulfill both roles, in other cases two different conservators are appointed.

The conservator is charged with acting in your best interest and not the best interest of your family. The actions of the conservator are overseen by the court.

Conservator appointment process

The first step in establishing a conservator is the filing of a petition in court. Any interested party can do this such as a family member or even the medical facility where you are being treated. If based on your condition and mental capacity the judge determines that a conservatorship is appropriate the judge will make that appointment. The court will first look to appoint the spouse. If there no spouse or the spouse is able to perform the tasks, then the court will look to adult children, adult siblings and then other blood relatives. However, if the court feels it is your best interest, the court will appoint a non-blood relative, a friend, or a professional conservator.

Should the court end up appointing a professional conservator, that person will be paid a reasonable fee for services provided and will be reimbursed for expenses. The conservator's fees and expenses will be paid from the estates of your estate.

A conservatorship will end when the court issues an order ending the conservatorship because you pass away or your condition improves such that you no longer need a conservator.

Avoiding court appointed conservatorships

The best way to avoid a court-appointed conservatorship and to make sure your desires are followed with respect to your estate and healthcare is to have create an advanced health care directive (AHCD) while you are healthy. With an AHCD you can give specific directions about your medical care wishes as well as appoint an attorney-in-fact to make decisions on your behalf.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

The best way to avoid a court appointed conservatorship is plan in advance. An experienced estate planning attorney will explain to you how a comprehensive estate plan will not only prepare you and your family in the event you become incapacitated due to illness or accident, it will also make sure that your goals are achieved once you pass away. Your personal estate plan may include a will, trusts, living will, powers of attorney, an advanced health care directive, as well as other tools. To learn more about steps you should take to avoid the possibility of conservatorship contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We will help you develop an overall estate plan that reflects your individual goals. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your estate plan.

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