It is an unfortunate situation when a family member is unable to make decisions on his or her own finances because of a disability or other extenuating circumstances. When this occurs, you might be able to petition the court to become a conservator over the person's affairs. If the court approves the petition, you will be able to ensure that the financial affairs are properly cared for during the approved conservatorships. For one mother, petitioning the court to become the conservator of her daughter's estate was necessitated by her daughter disappearing after coming to Michigan for a medical residency through the Western Michigan University School of Medicine.
The missing woman came to Michigan to complete the four-year psychiatry residency. She was last seen on Dec. 5, 2013 when she got a ride to a local hotel after completing a shift at the Borgess Medical Center. She was unable to get a room at the hotel and took a shuttle to her Lexus vehicle, which was back at the hospital. Later that night, police in a neighboring state reported finding her vehicle in a ditch along Interstate 94. She was nowhere to be found. Her wallet, credit cards and identification were in the vehicle, but her cellphone and purse were at the hospital.
A Kalamazoo court approved the mother's petition to become the conservator of the woman's estate. The special conservatorship expires on Jan. 30, 2014. It gives the mother the responsibilities of paying reasonable expenses, accumulating income and investigating the real property of her missing daughter. It also stipulates the mother must cooperate with police in regard to her daughter's real property.
When a loved one goes missing, caring for his or her affairs is vital. By petitioning the court to become a conservator over the missing person's estate, you can ensure that the person's finances are cared for until the person is found. Obtaining the help of an experienced Michigan estate planning attorney may help you to understand your rights and responsibilities related to the petition.
Source: MLive.com, "Teleka Patrick's mother assigned to her estate as search for missing Kalamazoo doctor continues" Rex Hall Jr., Jan. 07, 2014