A conservator or estate guardian manages the financial affairs of someone who is not competent to make financial decisions on their own, either due to young age or to physical, mental, or emotional disability. Becoming a conservator in Naperville is a challenging task. Moreover, the role of conservator comes with serious responsibilities. For these reasons, many people find it helpful to work with an experienced attorney when they become a conservator.

Requirements for a Conservator

Although conservators are responsible for making sound financial decisions in the best interests of another, they do not need to demonstrate any particular skills in money management to be appointed by the court. A conservator, known under newer laws as a guardian of the estate, must be a resident of the United States and at least 18-years-old.

In addition, to serve as a guardian, a person must be of sound mind and not have been found legally incompetent to serve. Moreover, those interested in becoming a conservator in Naperville must not have been convicted of a felony involving threat or harm to a minor or someone who is elderly or disabled.

Certification Report

As part of the process of petitioning to become a conservator in Naperville, the proposed conservator must obtain a report certifying the need for a guardian of the estate. The probate clerk of the court should have a form for this report, which should be completed by the physician of the person for whom conservatorship is established. Also, if there are other professionals familiar with the disabilities that render that person unable to manage their own financial affairs, they should contribute to the report as well. These professionals may be required to testify in court regarding their findings.

The report should be detailed to give the court sufficient information on which to base a decision. Among other things, the report should:

  • Describe the disability
  • Explain how the disability affects the ability to make decisions or function independently
  • Analyze evaluations of the person’s mental and physical condition
  • Provide an opinion regarding the need for guardianship and the reasons supporting this opinion
  • Include the signatures and credentials of those providing information in the report

Courts tend to favor limited guardianship where possible, although a limited guardianship may not have been considered by a physician when making a recommendation. Therefore, anyone interested in becoming a conservator in Naperville is advised to speak with an experienced attorney regarding how the conservatorship role could be fulfilled in the capacity of a limited estate guardianship.

Court Proceedings

Once a proposed conservator has a report ready, the court process may begin. The conservator or their attorney files a petition and notify others involved by having a summons served if necessary.

Other documents needed for the process of becoming a conservator in Naperville as well. These include a proposed order for the court to sign if conservatorship is approved, the oath of office for the proposed estate guardian, and a bond.

During the hearing, the person for whom conservatorship is proposed may contest the proceedings, produce their own evidence, and cross-examine witnesses. The court may appoint a guardian ad litem who would file a separate report regarding the advisability of establishing an estate guardian.

Help with the Process of Becoming a Conservator in Naperville

After the hearing concludes and the court reviews all evidence, the court may determine to name a conservator, establish a limited guardianship of the estate, or may decide guardianship is not warranted. Because the conservatorship process is complex and courts look at conservatorship is a last resort, it could be helpful to work with an experienced attorney throughout the process.

Becoming a conservator in Naperville could allow an individual to help someone pay bills and continue to enjoy a high standard of living when they become incapacitated. A conservatorship could also enable a business to continue to function or to transition to new leadership. Although the responsibilities and challenges of conservatorship are many, in certain situations, conservatorship provides a favorable way to serve an individual’s needs.