As a child, you probably dreamed about the day you became an adult and escaped your parents’ authority. Once you turned 18 years old, you could make your own decisions on how you spent your money and what you did with your life. However, a court could decide to take this freedom away from you by appointing a conservator to control your assets.
Note that the conservator only has control of your estate: If a court puts someone in charge of you, that person will be known as a guardian. Either way, however, you may find the situation upsetting — to say the least.
Why would a court appoint a conservator?
A court can appoint a conservator when they determine that you are “unable to manage property and business affairs.” Typically a court may give this power if you have a mental illness or brain injury that renders you unable to receive or evaluate information or make or communicate decisions.
There is scope for abuse if one person retains complete control over another’s financial matters. A court may appoint more than one conservator to avoid this. A court may also select a financial institution for the role rather than an individual.
Perhaps the most famous person to recently be put under a conservator’s stewardship is the singer Britney Spears. The court did it after a series of mental breakdowns. Last year a court turned down her attempt to challenge her father’s conservatorship over her.
Can I contest a conservatorship?
Fortunately, Colorado law upholds the rights of an individual who has been placed under conservatorship more than some other states. If you disagree with someone having control of your affairs, you may be able to challenge the court’s decision. Family members can also contest a conservatorship.