By: Kailey Boraas, Trust Officer

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest pop star happenings, you’ve probably heard of the Britney Spears’ Conservatorship rulings in the media. Still, for many, the drama unfolding might be raising more questions than answers in how and what a Conservatorship is. 

For starters, a Conservatorship is when a judge appoints a guardian or a protector to manage another person’s financial and/or healthcare affairs, often referred to as the ‘conservatee,’ who can no longer make their own decisions.  Conservatorships can be established to cover an incapacitated person’s financials only or include medical and personal decisions.  

Like anything, there are pros and cons to establishing a conservatorship for an incapacitated person. Such as, they are time-consuming and rather expensive to continue to operate.  They require court hearings and an attorney’s ongoing need to navigate the complexities of the reporting requirements. 

Another negative to establishing a Conservatorship is that all records and court proceedings are a matter of public record, which is why the public is able to know so much of the intricate details of the Britney Spears matter.  Sometimes, a Conservatorship is a positive thing, as the oversight for an individual can be helpful and the peace of mind that someone is taking care of their loved ones who aren’t able. 

There are ways we can plan for incapacity today to avoid the need for ever establishing a Conservatorship by using a network of estate planning documents put in place today while you are still able.  Having an updated estate plan that includes documents such as a Revocable Living Trust and Durable Power of Attorney allows for seamless management of your financial and healthcare affairs should you no longer be able to do so yourself.  A bit of planning today can save you and your family the Conservatorship process’s heartache, financial savings, and much more. Connect with your attorney to ensure you are covered, or reach out to a Trust Officer at First Western Bank & Trust to begin the conversation.