Conservatorship can be necessary in circumstances where a senior or a disabled person is not able to manage his or her own affairs due to physical or mental illness. Conservators are given tremendous responsibility under the law and are expected to act in the best interests of the person whose affairs they are put in charge of managing.
Unfortunately, sometimes this does not occur and conservators abuse their power or fail to act appropriately on behalf of the conserved person whose affairs they are in charge of managing. CT Post reported recently on efforts to ensure that conservators can be held accountable when they fail to live up to their obligations.
Although conservator abuse of power is not very common, it does happen and it could potentially be avoided if an incapacity plan is made with help from an experienced attorney. Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can help you to avoid conservatorship by making an incapacity plan so you do not need to worry about abusive or unethical behavior on the part of a conservator who may be put in charge of managing your affairs.
Accountability Measures Could Help to Prevent Abuse of Conservatorship
Conservators manage the financial affairs of people who are disabled or who have become unable to act on their own due to illness or age-related infirmity. Conservators also arrange medical care; nutrition assistance; and public housing.
According to CT Post, a probate court administrator is lobbying lawmakers in order to convince those lawmakers to establish new streamlined accountability measures to ensure that conservators are not abusing their positions of power.
Conservators have many important responsibilities, all of which impact the quality of life of vulnerable people including seniors with conditions like Alzheimer’s as well as people with serious disabilities who are not able to speak up for themselves and who are not able to assert their legal rights if a conservator fails to fulfill his duties.
The legislation that the probate court administrator is supporting would include written practices being established for family members and legal professionals who are given authority to handle the affairs of people who are elderly and/or disabled and thus unable to care for themselves.
In addition to written practices being established, the new accountability measures would also include random audits to ensure that conservators were doing what was expected of them and acting in the best interests of those whose affairs they were in charge of managing.
Independent CPAs who are chosen by the court would also be vested with authority to review conservatorship records under the new legislation. These CPAs would be paid by the court and would be able to detect financial irregularities that could suggest a conservator is not adequately fulfilling his duty to act in the best interests of the conserved person whose affairs the conservator has been put in charge.
The goal of the legislation is to strengthen the competence of conservators, and to ensure that conservators are not misusing money or assets and putting the financial security of conserved people in jeopardy.
The legislation to increase accountability measures is supported by the leaders of the Judiciary Committee for the state’s general assembly. Numerous other state senators have expressed their support for the initiatives. The AARP is also supporting the establishment of the new accountability measures.
Establishing new rules for conservatorship would ensure that those who are in charge of making decisions for the most vulnerable members of the population are acting based on the best interests of those who they are supposed to be helping.
Uniform standards would make it easier for conservators to understand their obligations and would make it easier to access whether or not those conservators are doing what is expected of them. The standards would make it easier to hold conservators accountable for wrongdoing since the rules will make it more clear when their duties are violated and would make it easier for such violations to be detected.
Getting Help from An Incapacity Planning Lawyer
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can provide assistance in avoiding conservatorship by creating an incapacity plan including the use of a power of attorney to name an agent to act on your behalf in case of illness or injury.
We can also provide assistance to conservators in fulfilling their obligations to an incapacitated person so the conservator can avoid legal liability for failing to fulfill his role.
To find out more about the ways in which our legal team helps with conservatorship issues, give us a call at 860-548-1000 or contact us online today.