What is a Conservatorship?
A conservatorship begins when a judge appoints a responsible person or organization (“conservator”) to care for an incapacitated adult’s (“conservatee”) personal or financial needs or both through a court process. The individual starting a conservatorship is typically appointed as the conservator.
There is a difference between a Conservatorship and a Guardianship. Conservatorships are established with adults and guardianships are established with children.
Powers of attorney documents may be used in place of conservatorships so long as the principal had sufficient mental capacity at the time they signed and notarized the power of attorney. Banks, hospitals, doctors, financial institutions, and others are not required to accept power of attorney documents. If the power of attorney agent has difficultly exercising authority, they might have to seek a conservatorship. If a Conservator gains power by the courts, the power of attorney becomes null and void.
Do you need a conservatorship?
Conservatorships usually begin with elderly adults with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease who no longer have the power or capacity to take care of themselves. Often times a doctor or multiple doctors need to evaluate the individual and determine their capacity level.
A conservator’s responsibilities could involve:
- Managing assets and property
- Paying facilities that are necessary for the conservatee’s health
- Using those funds to purchase necessary goods
- Paying bills such or property taxes and mortgages
- Paying for maintenance for properties
We Can Help You Care For a Loved One
If you are looking to seek a conservatorship so that you can properly care for a loved one, then we can be of service. At Elder Law Services of California, we understand that this can be a tough and emotionally draining time for the family. Call us to speak with one of our experts to begin the conservatorship process.
Who can petition for a Conservatorship in California?
- The spouse of the proposed conservatee
- A conservatee’s relative
- An interested friend of the proposed conservatee
- The proposed conservatee
- A professional fiduciary
How can I avoid Conservatorship in California?
With a proper estate plan, which includes a living trust and powers of attorney, you may be able to avoid a conservatorship. Call an expert attorney at Elder Law Services to discuss the specifics of your situation.