What is a Conservatorship? | Burns Law

What is a Conservatorship?

Probate Attorneys in Los Angeles Can Help Keep Your Loved One’s Finances Safe

A conservatorship is put in place by a probate attorney in LA when someone needs another adult to have legal guardianship over them despite being an adult. These kinds of legal situations are put in place when it’s determined that the adult does not have the capacity to care for themselves and their finances and assets.

The person who is unable to care for themselves is the conservatee and the person appointed over them is the conservator. Conservators can be family members or a third-party adult guardian.

It’s important to note that a conservatorship is supposed to be focused on the needs of the conservatee and not the superficial interests of the conservator. When families get involved, ulterior motives can come into play, so third-party trust litigation lawyers in Los Angeles that handle the conservatorship in a neutral manner are common.

Under a conservatorship, another adult will have complete control over the conservatee’s medical, financial, and legal decision-making. Families often resort to a conservatorship to simplify the medical and financial decision-making process when it becomes a heavy burden.

Different Types of Conservatorships

There are different types of conservatorship that can vary depending on the elderly adult’s needs. Our Los Angeles trust and probate attorneys break down the different kinds of conservatorships and their uses below:

  • Financial: A financial conservatorship gives a person full authority over the conservatee’s finances. While the conservatee can still make choices about their body and mental health, they cannot use their own money, access investments, or sell property without a conservator’s signature.
  • Physical: A physical conservatorship is put in place when someone cannot make informed decisions about their health and lifestyle. A conservator in a physical conservatorship can choose where the conservatee lives, whether it’s with a relative or in an assisted living facility. They can also make healthcare decisions on their behalf.
  • General: The conservator in a general conservatorship has complete control over the conservatee’s finances, healthcare decisions, physical autonomy, and all other decisions.
  • Limited: A limited conservatorship will specify what the conservator has authority over in regard to the conservatee’s life. This conservatorship is common for mentally disabled adults, and it allows the adult to have some autonomy while still being looked out for by a guardian.

How to Get a Conservatorship

Conservatorships are most often put in place when the adult’s mental capacity is in question, and it’s most often due to the following ailments:

  • The adult is in a coma
  • The adult has a mentally capacitating illness like Alzheimer’s or dementia
  • The adult has a permanent mental disability

When a conservatorship is being considered, Los Angeles family court attorneys urge families to ask two questions: Is the individual capable of providing for their basic needs, such as food, sanitation, and shelter? Is the individual a danger to themselves?

Conservatorships are established in state trust and probate courts, and a hearing must occur before it’s approved. During the hearing, medical records are examined, and the conservatee also has the opportunity to explain to a judge why they do or do not need a conservatorship.

A conservatorship strips an adult of their freedom, so these matters should be taken seriously, and motions should always be scrutinized. Those who are under conservatorships also undergo regular evaluations and hearings to make sure that they are not being exploited and that the conservatorship is still necessary.

How to End a Conservatorship

Sadly, unnecessary conservatorships are not uncommon, despite the regulations put in place to ensure their necessity. Our family court lawyers in Los Angeles treat conservatorships as a last resort when no other options will protect the conservatee’s finances and assets.

A conservator has full authority until a court order is issued terminating their responsibility. They generally last until the conservatee passes away. Other situations where courts in California end a conservatorship include:

  • The conservatee can demonstrate that they no longer need this level of assistance
  • The conservator resigns or tells the court they cannot handle the responsibilities. In this situation, the conservatorship would not be terminated, but rather another conservator would take over.

If you feel that your loved one needs a conservatorship to stay safe, you should choose a trusted lawyer for conservatorships in Los Angeles. This is a serious decision, and your family deserves someone who will be completely transparent about the legal process to follow.

About Our Firm

The Law Offices of Nigel Burns is a law firm for family issues, like those surrounding marriage, divorce, and adoption. These are personal matters, so it’s natural to become emotionally invested in your civil lawsuit; our attorneys can handle the legal process to minimize any stress that you may feel. Our attorneys are experts in civil litigation, ensuring that your lawsuit brings you the most favorable results. Our attorneys can help litigate:

  • Restraining orders
  • Divorce
  • Child support
  • Child custody
  • Property division
  • Will creation

Our attorneys can also help you pursue compensation if you were in an accident and need to sue for damages. If you suffered a car wreck, bike accident, or were hit by a car as a pedestrian, we can get your personal injury lawsuit started. Our offices are located across greater Los Angeles, so accessibility shouldn’t be a problem. We’re also offering virtual services due to COVID-19. To see our full list of contact options, click here.

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