What Is A Conservatorship?

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One of the tenets of the American system of government is that all people have the right to representation by an attorney. This seemingly obvious right ensures that everyone is aware of their legal rights and protections at all times. Even if that person cannot afford one, an attorney will be provided free of charge. However, what if someone cannot make that decision for themselves? That’s where conservatorships come in.

What Is a Conservatorship?

This term refers to a legal concept in the U.S. whereby a judge chooses an individual to represent and be the guardian of another person, or entity, who is unable to make decisions for themselves. This is typically due to old age or a medical condition such as mental illness, suicidal tendencies, dementia or psychosis, among others. That characterization, naturally, must be made by a medical professional, a doctor or psychiatrist. A potential conservator can apply for an EIN online. 

Limited Conservatorships

A second type of classification of conservatorships is one that is limited. Usually, this applies to someone who is gravely ill, or incapacitated in some way, but can still make some decisions for themselves. This is advantageous to the person being represented because it retains their right to have more of a say over their care and future while still not having to represent themselves solely.

It can also be temporary in nature. A judge typically appoints a limited conservatorship for 30 days at the start. Then, if the condition that necessitated the conservatorship in the first place persists after that period, the judge would appoint that guardian as conservator for an additional 12 months. The conservator can check the status of the EIN online. This is effective when the health of the person being cared for is variable and could improve or change at some later date.

Conservatorship vs. Guardianship

A conservator is a person who has been appointed by the count to tend to someone’s finances, when that person cannot make decisions due to injury, illness or disability. Courts also appoint guardians, but guardians make healthcare and generally non-monetary decisions for a person who cannot make these decisions due to illness, injury or disability.

Who Needs a Conservator?

Sometimes, a person’s friend or family member might not be able to make decisions due to illness, injury or disability. The court can appoint a conservator for a person who:

  • Is mentally challenged
  • Is in a coma
  • Has Alzheimer’s disease or another form of Dementia
  • Has suffered a stroke
  • Has a brain injury

If a court finds that an individual cannot take care of important life decisions, that individual is referred to as incapacitated. The court holds a hearing to decide if an individual is incapacitated, and when the facts presented show that someone cannot: a) understand information about personal financial or health care well enough to make proper decisions, or b) clearly communicate wishes about personal financial or health matters, the court will appoint a conservator.

A conservator is also called a ward. The conservator or ward can take care of the financial matters of a person who has been in an accident where major injuries were sustained.

If you have been appointed conservator for another individual, it can be challenging to take that person’s financial matters and keep track of them responsibly. It is easier when you can tend to any taxpayer ID matters online, through a quick and easy application.

To fill out an EIN application for someone you have a conservatorship over, or to check the status of an EIN, you can use our easy tools to communicate with the IRS.

As always, it is best to consult a qualified tax representative as you weigh your own options.

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