General Housing Information
questions & answers
Question: I am considering buying a house in Mesa, and looked on the Maricopa County Recorder website fnd see that the owner is listed as a conservator with ownership with minor children as conservatorship. What does this mean? Does this mean minors can own property in AZ?
Answer: Please see the following article posted on Maricopa County's website regarding how conservatorships work:
This article states:
A Conservator of a minor child is a person, appointed by the judge to manage money and property for someone under the age of 18. The Conservator is usually a parent or sometimes a financial institution. The minor child for whom the Conservator is appointed is referred to by law as a "protected person."
A Conservator cannot be appointed until after a court hearing. If the minor is 14 years old or older, the judge will consider the minor's preference in deciding who will be named as Conservator.
The judge may order the Conservator to obtain a bond to protect the minor's assets. Bonds insure protection against theft or fraud by the Conservator and are obtained from insurance companies. A bond may NOT be required if the judge orders all of the funds be placed in a "restricted" bank account, which requires a court order before the bank can release the funds.
If the funds are not restricted, the Conservator must keep detailed records of all financial transactions which show the dates, amounts and types of all financial transactions, with receipts. Once a year, the Conservator must file a petition for approval of an accounting with the court which lists all financial transactions since the appointment date and all financial transactions for the year in review. The next year another accounting must be filed and approved, which show all the transactions since the last court apporval, and so on until the court case is dismissed.
When the minor reaches age 18, the minor or the Conservator must ask the court to end the Conservatorship, release the funds and discharge the Conservator from further liability. If a court order for termination and discharge is not entered, the Conservator is still liable for the use of the minor's money.
Please also see the following article published on the Arizona Bar Association's page, which contains general information about how conservatorships work in Arizona:
In Arizona, a child less than 18 years of age cannot own real estate without the appointment of a conservator, unless the child files and is approved for emancipation under A.R.S.12-2451 .