Conservatorships & Guardianships
A person who is appointed by the court to manage the property of a minor or incapacitated person.
A person who is unable to manage property and business affairs because of....
- mental illness
- mental deficiency
- physical illness
- infirmities accompanying advanced age
- chronic use of drugs
- chronic intoxication
- detention by foreign power
A family member or any interested person with the priorities as follows:
- conservator appointed in another jurisdiction
- person selected by incapacitated person
- person designated by incapacitated person's power of attorney
- adult child
- relative with whom ward has lived last six months
- nominee of person caring for incapacitated person
- general guardian of sheriff
A conservator may be appointed when an incapacitated person:
Is unable to manage property and business affairs; and
(a) has property that will be wasted without proper management; or
(b) funds are needed to support the incapacitated person or one entitled to support from the incapacitated person.
- invest and reinvest funds
- retain assets
- receive additions
- acquire undivided interest
- deposit funds in financial institutions
- acquire property
- dispose of personal property
- make repairs to building
- enter leases up to 5 years
- enter mineral leases
- grant options up to one year
- vote securities
- pay assessments
- sell or exercise stock options
- deposit stock and bonds
- consent to reorganization, merger of a business
- insure assets
- borrow to protect estate
- settle claims
- pay reasonable annual compensation to conservator
- pay taxes and expenses
- allocate expenses to income
- pay sum of benefit of protected person or his family
- employ attorneys, auditors
- prosecute or defend claims
- execute and deliver appropriate instruments
- hold securities
[court may limit powers of conservator]
With prior court authorization the conservator may:
- continue or participate in operating business
- demolish improvements
- dispose of real estate
- subdivide, dedicate land
- leases greater than 5 years
- grant an option more than one year
- take an option to acquire property
- petition filed
- appointment of a guardian ad litem
- examination by physician
- appointment of court's representative
- jury at hearing if demanded
- bond for conservator
- order granting petition
- Inventory of property for conservator
- letters of guardianship and/or conservatorship
Yes, a bond is required for conservatorship unless the bond requirement was waived in a Will of power of attorney.
Each conservator must complete an inventory of the estate immediately and file it with the court within 90 days after appointment.
Yes, a conservator must give an accounting to the court at least every three years. The court may order an accounting more frequently. An accounting is also required upon the resignation or removal of the conservator.
The parent of a minor or someone who has been appointed by the court to be responsible for the personal care of an individual.
Legal name for a person for whom a guardian has been appointed.
Any qualified person may be appointed. However, the law establishes the following priorities:
- person named in a durable power of attorney
- spouse or spouse's nominee
- adult child
- parent of parent's nominee
- relative with whom person has lived the prior 6 months
- ominee of caretaker of person
The court may appoint any person who will be in the best interest of the minor. However, if the minor is 14 years old or older, the minor's nominee must be appointed unless the appointment is contrary to the minor's best interest.
Also, a parental nomination has priority.
Yes, in a Will a parent may appoint a guardian for a minor child or for an unmarried incapacitated child.
Yes, in a Will a person may appoint a guardian for his or her incapacitated spouse.
- must assume responsibilities of a parent regarding support, care and education
- must become personally acquainted with ward
- must take reasonable care of ward's personal effects
- must apply available money for current needs or health, support, education and maintenance
- must conserve excess money
- must report the condition of the ward to the court
- may receive limited funds for support of ward
- may take custody of ward and establish a home
- may compel payment of support
- may consent to medical care
- may consent to marriage or adoption
- may delegate certain responsibilities to the ward for the decision making
[court may limit powers of guardianship]
- upon death of ward
- upon resignation of the guardian
- upon adoption of the minor
- upon marriage of the minor
- upon minor becoming an adult
- when ward's incapacity is terminated
THIS INFORMATION, WHICH IS BASED ON ALABAMA LAW, IS ONLY TO INFORM AND NOT TO ADVISE. NO PERSON SHOULD EVER APPLY OR INTERPRET ANY LAW WITHOUT THE AID OF A LAWYER WHO ANALYZES THE FACTS, BECAUSE THE FACTS MAY CHANGE THE APPLICATION OF THE LAW.
Prepared by the Alabama Law Institute for the
Alabama Probate Judges' Association