These are the basic instructions on what you will need to file regarding conservatorship of an adult. At the bottom of this instruction page will be a list of forms that are required to file for conservatorship.
NOTE: ALL FORMS MUST BE TYPEWRITTEN OR PRINTED NEATLY IN BLACK INK ONLY
The Probate Code defines ”Conservator” as having responsibility over the financial estate.
The Petition for Appointment of Conservator and Report of Physician are filed with the Probate Court along with the filing fee of $187.00, payable to the Antrim County Probate Court. The person to be appointed conservator must also file an Acceptance of Appointment.
The Court will then schedule a hearing date and time and properly notify all interested parties.
On the date of the hearing, the petitioner and anyone else who wants to take part in the hearing goes before the Judge to give testimony. The Judge will decide whether to appoint a conservator.
If you are requesting both a guardian and conservator, the hearing can be a combined hearing on both Petitions.
Letters of Authority are proof of appointment and empower you to act on behalf of the “Ward”. They are used to establish bank/investment accounts, change social security payments, etc. You will be provided with one free certified copy (with the Court seal) of your Letters of Authority. Additional certified copies are $12.00 each.
Within 56 days after appointment, the Conservator must file with the Court an Inventory. The Inventory lists the ward’s assets at the time of appointment. Assets may consist of real estate, checking and savings accounts, stocks, bonds, CDs, and personal belongings and everything in which the ward has an interest. You must contact family members, banks, facilities providing care, credit unions, etc., to determine the assets. With the exception of real estate, those assets should be converted to an account in the Ward’s name, with your name on the account as conservator.
The conservator must keep careful records of all income and all disbursements of the ward’s funds. You alone are responsible for the assets. Do not permit family members, facilities or others to retain partial control, and be sure to keep those assets separate from your own personal assets. Never “borrow” from the ward’s assets.
Each year, on the anniversary date of appointment, the Conservator must file an annual accounting with the Probate Court. Copies of the Account of Fiduciary must be served on the interested parties, including the ward, and a Proof of Service filed with the Court. The filing fee is $20.00 for the accounting each year. This fee should be entered as a disbursement on the accounting.
Anyone, including the ward, may file a petition to terminate or appoint a new conservator. If the ward dies, the court should be notified so that the conservatorship can be ended and the court’s case closed. Before the conservator can be discharged, a final account will have to be filed and approved by the court.
It is important that you keep accurate records. Your checkbook and your calendar can serve as valuable resources when preparing the annual accounting. There may be procedures for which you require assistance, such as the sale of real estate, the commitment of the ward to a mental institution or the death of the ward. If you have questions regarding any procedure, please feel free to call the Probate Court for assistance.