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A judge may appoint a conservator to manage the finances and property of a person the court finds legally incompetent. A legally incompetent person may be an elderly person, a mentally disabled person, or a person who is a chronic alcoholic or drug user. The requirements to become a professional, licensed conservator vary from state to state. Not all states require licensing, while others require a credential from a professional organization in addition to licensing.
Contact your state's licensing board and ask about conservator licensing requirements. Some states, such as Iowa, do not require licensing. Other states, such as California, may not require licensing, depending on whether your conservatees are related to you or to each other. If you do need a license as a conservator in California, you must become licensed as a California Professional Fiduciary.
Fulfill your state's eligibility requirements to become a licensed conservator. Generally, you must be of a certain age and able to pass a criminal background check. Some states also require that you hold a high school diploma. You might need a certain amount of work experience or a degree in accounting or financial management. States such as Alaska also require that you hold a credential from a professional guardianship organization that is nationally recognized.
Obtain a credential from a guardianship organization if your state requires it. One such organization is the National Guardianship Association, which offers a certification through the Center for Guardianship Certification. Pass an examination to obtain this credential. The organization offers online study materials and review courses.
Submit an application for conservator licensing if your state requires it. You will likely need to pay a fee, provide proof of your education or experience, and submit a copy of your certification. Your state might also require a fingerprint card.
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- Alaska Department of Labor and Workforce Development: Private Professional Full and Partial Guardians, Private Professional Conservators
- Center for Guardianship Certification: How Do I Become a Certified Guardian?
- Iowa Legal Aid; Guardianship & Conservatorship in Iowa; November 2006
- Alaska Department of Commerce, Community, and Economic Development: Individual Private Professional Conservator License Application Packet
- California Department of Consumer Affairs: Applicants/Licensees - Professional Fiduciaries Bureau
- Legal Services of North Dakota: What Is a Conservatorship?