In the instance of a person becoming incapacitated, a court designates a conservator to make decisions regarding the individual’s estate. Since 1986, Carolyn M. Young has provided fiduciary services for Californians as both a trustee and a conservator and offers some insights into the role of the conservator and his or her relationship with the conservatee.

A conservator is designated by the court when an individual cannot make important decisions regarding his or her own estate or welfare. The role a conservator plays is recommended by a court investigator, who advises a probate judge, along with the client’s attorney, on the best course of action, depending on the circumstances at hand. For example, when a physical or mental handicap leads to an inability to make sound medical decisions, the appointed conservator makes those health-related decisions for that person. When an individual is deemed unable to manage his or her assets, a conservator of the estate takes responsibility for paying the obligations of the estate and managing its assets and benefits, as well as handling the individual’s taxes.