Laguna Woods, CA asked in Estate Planning for California

Q: As a conservator for my mom, can I pay off her mortgage and then have her pay me back with an interest only arrangement?

My mom has few assets and lots of debt. she is willingly allowing me to become her conservator. Our plan is to pay off her mortgage, but she still retains equity in the home. she would just pay us a modest interest on the loan. Would it be better to do this prior to establishing a conservatorship or to do it after through the judge?

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2 Lawyer Answers
Linda Calderon Garrett
Linda Calderon Garrett
Answered
  • Fairfield, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your facts are minimal, but I will do my best to provide a general response to this question. First, a conservatorship would be established based on need, not desire by the elderly parenet. The underlying purpose of a conservatorship is to have the appointed individual steps into the shoes of the elderly parent because they have no capacity to make decisions for themselves. If your mother is fully aware of her situation and has full mental capacity to make decisions concerning her welfare and estate, then I have doubts the court would approve a request for conservatorship. Such an action is very extreme to the elderly parent because it takes away their legal rights to make decisions for theselves. Is it possible you are referring to you being your mother's power of attorney?

I recommend you speak to an attorney to clarify the facts, because it sounds like your mother has full mental capacity to make decisions.

Zaher Fallahi
Zaher Fallahi
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Los Angeles, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Conservator or is a person who is appointed by court to manage the financial affairs of a person’s due to lack of mental capacity or physical disability. Generally, the family members such as you (sons) or other relatives petition the court for such appointment. The conservator must provide the court with regular accounting and financial reports, which must be approved by court. If your handling this particular matter is approved or will be approved by court, you should be OK. If you mom has capacity, there may be a huge misunderstanding about the term “conservatorship”. Consult a local attorney with more facts and a better advice. Good luck.

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