Planning Ahead

questions & answers

Question: What is a conservator?


A Conservator is appointed by the court to handle the financial matters of a person who can no longer manage his or her own financial affairs or property. The person for whom a conservator is appointed is called a protected person. The court proceedings where a conservator may be appointed starts with a petition.

The petition may be filed by the person to be protected, any individual interested in the estate, affairs or welfare of the protected person such as a relative or guardian, or any person adversely affected by improper management of the property and affairs of the protected person.

Notice of the time and place of the proceeding is given to the person to be protected, the spouse, or if none, the parents or guardian of the protected person. The person to be protected must be represented by an attorney, either the person's own or appointed by the court. If the person to be protected objects to the appointment of a conservator, a trial is held on the matter.

The conservator must account to the Court each year and must be bonded unless all assets are Court-restricted (assests that require court persmission to access). Usually, some assets are restricted and some are not so that the bills can be paid.

Unlike a guardian, the Conservator makes decisions about the financial affairs of the protected person and generally does not manage the personal care of the individual. A guardian can be appointed to make decisions regarding health matters, nutrition, hydration, living quarters, clothing, etc.


  • What is a conservator?




  • Please select your county of residence below.



  • State Bar of Arizona
  • Maricopa County Bar
    Referral number 602-257-4434
  • Pima County Bar
    Referral number 520-623-4625
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline
  • Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center
  • Certified Legal Document Preparer Program


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