Often family members receive priority when it comes to being appointed conservator of an incapacitated adult. If a conservator – who has control over the finances of the ward – is also named as a beneficiary in the ward’s will or recipient of some other of the ward’s assets upon death, the argument goes that the conservator is incentivized to not spend funds in support of the ward. Is this a conflict of interest that precludes appointment of such a conservator or warrants removal?
In In re Estate of Lorraine McKitrick (via FindLaw), the Georgia Court of Appeals affirmed a probate court’s order that it did not. In this case, the conservator was the ward’s son and had a potential death benefit in the ward’s accounts. The ward had complained that the conservator refused to