Once a conservatorship is granted, the court will supervise Carrie’s case until the conservatorship is terminated or Carrie dies. The case is supervised through regular reporting to the court. Carrie’s son will be responsible for updating the court on Carrie’s status with routine reports. That reporting begins with an inventory of all the assets Carrie owns. After Carrie’s son prepares the inventory, the property will be appraised by the court’s probate referee. Conservatorship Attorney Clarksville has some nice tips on this. The probate referee is assigned to the case by the court just like the court investigator. He or she is responsible for placing a dollar value on Carrie’s assets – her home, stocks, bonds, household furnishings, jewelry, all income sources and bank accounts. The probate referee’s appraisal will serve as the starting point for the future financial accounting Carrie’s son must make. And just like the court investigator fee, the probate referee’s fee will also be paid from Carrie’s bank account.
Once the inventory is filed with the court, Carrie’s son must report every dollar of Carrie’s money that he spends on her behalf and every dollar she receives in the form of interest, retirement or rental income. This is the court’s way of insuring that Carrie’s assets are being used for her care and benefit and not stolen or squandered. This mandatory reporting usually starts one year after the conservator is appointed and is required every other year after that. Carrie’s son will also have to report on Carrie’s mental and physical health. This reporting must be in the court mandated format. It is not unusual for a conservator to require the assistance of an attorney or a probate accountant in preparing these reports. And again, these hired professionals will be paid from Carrie’s assets which of course adds to the cost.
A copy of each bi-annual report must be given to Carrie, her attorney, all of Carrie’s immediate family members, and the court investigator to review. It is the court investigator’s job to make sure all of the expenditures are reasonable and accurately included in the report. The court investigator will also make sure the balances in Carrie’s bank accounts are correct using the probate referee’s appraisal as the starting point. In fact, copies of all of Carrie’s bank statements must be submitted to the court along with the report. Carrie’s son will have to explain any discrepancies found in the report. Each time a report is filed, the court will schedule a hearing date to review and approve the report.
Because each bi-annual report is considered a petition when it is filed with the court, the cost each time is $435. Carrie’s attorney is also entitled to payment for her time reviewing the report. If Carrie’s son employs the services of an attorney and/or probate accountant to help him prepare the report, these individuals must be paid for their services as well. Again, all of these costs will come from Carrie’s assets. It is not unusual for the costs of a bi-annual accounting to cost $5,000 or more. And because Carrie may live for several years, these costs will be repeated each time a report is filed. Most people also may not realize it but the bi-annual reports, the petition and the inventory and appraisal are all public documents available for anyone to review.