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Modern Estate Planning Blog

Elder Law & Special Needs Planning

Folsom Special Needs Attorney: What to Do If You Suspect Abuse by a Conservator

August 30, 2018

Sometimes teens and adults with disabilities may require the help of others to make daily decisions on their own behalves. When this happens, a conservator is named by the courts who can oversee the individual’s finances and personal care.  This doesn’t always mean that the chosen conservator has the disabled individual’s best interests in mind, however. These are some signs to look out for if you suspect abuse.

The conservator is charging very high fees for basic services.

Private conservators can charge reasonable fees for their services from the individual with disabilities’ estate and use that money to pay for the things they need. However, if the conservator is charging hundreds of dollars for their time and grossly inflating the price of the things they get for the individual, there is a big problem.

The conservator is selling off assets.

If the conservator appears to be liquidating everything, including things that the individual with disabilities would want to keep for themselves, like sentimental items of little value, then the conservator may not be looking out for the individual’s best interest.

The conservator has lowered the individual’s standard of living.

In selling the assets, the conservator may choose to move the individual with disabilities. However, be on alert if the conservator moves the individual to a place that is cheap, dingy, unsuitable for their needs, or inadequate in some way, they could be doing so in order to hoard more money for themselves. This may be a red flag that abuse is occurring.

The conservator refuses to speak to family members or to allow the individual with disabilities to speak to family members.

Perhaps most importantly, conservatorship doesn’t grant the conservator the right to alienate the person with disabilities from friends and family. If they’re not allowed to have visitors, use the phone or email, or if the conservator won’t let family or friends know where the individual is, this a big red flag.

If you’re afraid that your loved one is under the conservatorship of a predatory conservator, contact a Folsom special needs attorney to help you work through the court system to remedy the problem. We invite you to contact our Folsom estate planning attorneys at (916) 241-9661 to schedule a consultation to discuss your options.

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Very professional, comprehensive service and extremely valuable. Heather and her team are very knowledgeable and we feel they have our best interests at heart. They make uncomfortable decision conversations possible and manageable. Working with Heather we were able to focus our attention on important issues that we questioned or purposely avoided for too long. Now that these questions are answered and our family is covered, it's a wonderful feeling.

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