In Hawaii a minor or incapacitated person can have a Hawaii court appoint a Guardian or a Conservator, or both. A person who has the authority to make (1) health care decisions for the minor or incapacitated person is called a Guardian, and (2) financial decisions for the minor or incapacitated person is a Conservator.
When a financial adviser like Merrill Lynch or Morgan Stanley, or an insurance company like MetLife or New York Life, has assets that were designated for a deceased person’s beneficiaries, and some of those beneficiaries are Hawaii residents under the age of 18, the financial adviser or insurance company will often require Letters of Conservatorship be provided to them so as to ensure that the assets actually go to the intended beneficiary and are not used by the parents of the minor.
What You Need for Your Petition in Hawaii
Letters of Conservatorship are only issued by the Hawaii Probate Court and require a lengthy petition be filed. Budgets must be prepared. If the Probate Court grants the petition the conservatorship will be created, and the conservator shall be required to report to the court interim accounting until the minor attains the age of 18. The conservator is now a fiduciary of the protected person must observe the duties of loyalty, care, etc.
If bank accounts are needed, two accounts will be opened, one checking account for amounts approved by the court for regular expense of the protected person, and a second interest-bearing savings account that requires the signature of both the conservator and the conservator’s attorney. Within sixty days of the attainment of majority by a minor the conservator is required to file a final report and a petition for discharge.
As you can see Conservatorships of a Minor in Hawaii are formal proceedings that have a lot of safeguards for the assets of a minor, but which are cumbersome and expensive to administer. Funds must be maintained to even file the final report and petition for discharge when the minor reaches the age of eighteen. Contact us if your child has inherited assets held by a financial or insurance company and they require Letters of Conservatorship.
Contact us today if you’re facing this complex and often confusing situation. We can help.