Skip to Main Content


You need to understand what a conservator is. Here’s what to know.

What is a conservator?

A conservator is someone appointed by the court to act on the behalf of a person who is mentally or physically incapacitated, or someone who is too young or unable to act on his or her own. The conservator generally oversees this person’s matters dealing with property and finances and not dealing with personal matters.

Deeper definition

A conservator is someone who is appointed by the court to act as an individual’s guardian for any legal or financial matters. This also can extend to more personal matters such as daily care and allotting finances for that care, if deemed necessary.

Someone is determined to be in need of a conservator if that person is deemed grossly disabled or mentally ill. This can include a person who is suicidal, demented or overall mentally unable to make decisions. It also can include a person who is physically incapacitated due to illness, injury or mental status.

For a conservatorship to be deemed necessary, a person’s mental status has to first be determined by an experienced psychiatrist, psychologist or physician.

Conservator example

An example of a situation in which a conservator may be needed would be if an individual with no immediate family is found to have dementia or another illness that makes that person unable to make sound decisions.

After being examined by a psychiatrist or psychologist and deemed mentally incapacitated, the diagnosis would be filed with the court. The court would then appoint a conservator to act on the behalf of that individual in matters pertaining to property, finances and legal matters.

The legality of assisting a senior citizen or ill person with their finances can be tricky. Make sure you don’t get in trouble for helping an elderly relative with their finances.



More From Bankrate