Can a non-family member serve as the conservator of my loved one’s estate?

When your loved one is no longer capable of managing his own affairs, it may be time to seek a conservatorship. A conservator is a person who is put in charge of handling your loved ones affairs, including managing and protecting the assets of his estate. A family member typically petitions the court to serve in this role. In some cases, however, a family member may not be the best option for serving as conservator. When this happens, a non-family member may be appointed.

4 Situations When a Family Member May Not Be the Ideal Choice for Conservator

When is a non-family member a better choice for serving as conservator of your loved one’s estate? The following are four examples:

  1. A family member is unavailable to serve in the role of conservator.
  2. A family member is incapable of serving in the role of conservator.
  3. The person who needs a conservator does not want a family member to serve in this role.
  4. The person who needs a conservator appointed someone to serve in the role and cited him in the estate plan.

When these situations arise, a non-family member can serve in the role of conservator. There are specific agencies and individuals who have the authority to serve when appointed by the court. For example, The Public Guardian is an agency that may be appointed as a non-family conservator. In addition, there are many non-profit organizations willing to serve in the role. Another option is to hire a private individual who is available to serve. These people are known as private professional conservators, and they are required to be licensed in the State of California to serve in this capacity. To maintain their license, these people must meet ongoing educational requirements.