What is a Conservatorship?

If you have a will, it is important to name someone you trust as a conservator. A conservator is responsible for your estate and children.
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Staff Writer, @DooleyNotedLaw

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If you’re like most people, you probably haven’t given much thought to what would happen if you suddenly become incapacitated. What would happen to your children? Your finances? There will be issues if you don’t have a Will or haven’t appointed someone to manage your estate or your children. If you’ve kept up on the Britney Spears conservatorship case with her father, you’re familiar with the word conservator. The details of a  conservatorship varies from state to state. This blog post will discuss what conservatorship is and what it means in Texas. Additionally, if you are interested in learning more about Estate Planning in Texas, please contact our office for a consultation.

What is a Conservatorship?

Conservatorship is when you appoint a person to handle the affairs of a minor or someone who has become incapacitated. The conservator has the authority to make financial and personal decisions on behalf of the person. A conservatorship can be temporary or permanent. Further, it can be limited or broad in scope. Some states use different names for a conservatorship.

In Texas, conservatorship usually relates to child custody and family law. Further, guardianship correlates to managing an individual’s finances and personal affairs. Choosing a guardian during estate planning is essential for minor children and your assets.

It’s crucial to understand that each state uses different terms and has different meanings attached to them. We’re sharing what these legal words mean in Texas. However, if you live in another state, it may be different.

Do I need a Conservator in Texas?

In Texas, you do not need to name a conservator in your Will or the estate planning process. Instead, it’s best to appoint a guardian over the estate and any minor children you may have.

It’s generally most helpful to have two different individuals. One person will handle the day-to-day guardianship of your minor child. The other will manage the financial affairs of your assets that go to the minor child. Appointing these individuals is essential in estate planning. If something were to happen to both parents, there needs to be a plan in place for who will take care of the children. This includes the child’s education, medical needs, food, shelter, and finances. Appointing someone to be in charge will provide a sense of stability for the children during what would be a challenging time.

It is possible to name the same person to fill both roles, but it’s not required. You’ll need to decide what would work best for your family.

Conservatorship vs. Guardianship

In Texas, a conservatorship mainly relates to family law, including child custody cases. Every state has its own definition of conservatorship. For example, some states appoint a conservator to manage another person’s finances.

Regarding estate planning in Texas, it’s crucial to choose a guardian. Guardianship is generally necessary when you have minor children. However, it’s also essential if you become incapacitated and need someone to make decisions on your behalf. Even if you don’t have children, it’s critical to have someone who will take care of your assets if you’re unable. Additionally, if a family member is elderly or disabled, they may need someone to care for them.

There can be two guardians listed in your Will. You can assign one person to handle financial affairs and another to manage personal affairs.

Both conservators and guardians must follow high ethical standards set by state law. Further, they are required to report periodically to the court about their actions and the status of the person they are managing.

Why hire an Estate Planning Lawyer in Texas?

These legal terms and their implications can be confusing, especially since they vary from state to state. An experienced Estate Planning Lawyer in Texas will help you understand conservatorship and guardianship and what that means for your future. Additionally, we will assist you in creating the Will that is right for your family.

Dooley Noted Law has helped many individuals and families in Texas with their Estate Planning. We enjoy assisting others in feeling secure and knowing their family is ready for any future situation. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We would be honored to help you and your family plan for your future.

The contents of this post, and the posting and viewing of the information on this post, should not be construed as, and should not be relied upon for, legal advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. An attorney should be contacted for advice on specific legal issues.

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