Monroe, NC asked in Family Law and Social Security for Michigan

Q: court says the file is closed on conservatorship....the woman that was it, say she is only payee. who is trustee then?

son had conservator for special needs trust which i set up when he was 17 ( he's now 36). I got guardianship back and when I petitioned in 2020. I petitioned to be conservator this year, but the court said the case is closed?! Woman that was his guardian/conservator says she is now only his payee (for SSDI)...i'm confused. So can I now be his payee and go to the bank and show court papers to take back control of his funds? This case was in MI, but both son and I live now in NC.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: Sounds like the conservatorship may have been in place because of your son's age at the time (under 18). At some point, it was closed because 1) he was over 18, and 2) his only source of income became his SSDI, for which a payee serves the same purpose as a conservator.

If you were named trustee of the special needs trust, you should still be the trustee. To become his payee is a different matter; for that, you need to deal with the Social Security Administration. Neither the bank nor the court have anything to do with that.

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