Hire a Conservatorship Estate Attorney in Los Angeles
Updated: Jun 5
Find an Estate Planning Lawyer for Conservatorships
A conservatorship is a legal status that allows someone to take care of someone's affairs when they are past the age of 18 and can no longer make their own decisions. This may include medical decisions, financial decisions, and other personal matters. When individuals are unable to make their own decisions or are unable to resist the undue influence of fraud, they may need a conservatorship. This often occurs in people who are in poor mental or physical health as a result of an accident, advanced age, or disease.
A conservator can manage a person's health, finances, living arrangements, and other decisions for them if they are unable to do so themselves. Several people can regulate different aspects of a person's life. On the other hand, a conservatorship may be established such that only one person is in charge of all personal decisions.
When Do You Need a Conservatorship?
A conservatorship is suitable for anyone over the age of 18 who is unable to make decisions about their personal affairs. The following are examples of situations where a conservatorship may be appropriate:
Someone has been admitted to a hospital or treatment facility and is unable to make medical or personal decisions on their own
Someone is being irresponsible with their assets and is unable to manage their finances on their own
When a mentally or physically impaired child reaches 18, he or she requires a guardian to continue making personal decisions on their behalf.
A conservatorship lawyer may assist you in determining if a conservatorship is needed in your case. There may be a number of signs that your loved one is unable to make sound choices on their own. Rather than causing their personal affairs to crumble, you may file a conservatorship petition.
What is a Conservatorship and How Does It Work?
A conservatorship is the most effective way to help an elderly person with serious mental ability problems while still ensuring absolute security. To receive a Conservatorship, you must petition the court to nominate you as the individual with mental ability issues' Conservator (i.e., the conservatee). In a variety of cases, a Conservator may make legal decisions on behalf of a Conservatee.
Conservatorships come in a Different Forms
The Person is under a Conservatorship. If the Judge feels the conservatee is unable to make medical decisions on their own, the court will impose a Conservatorship of the Person. As a result, if the court names you Conservator of the Person, you have the authority to make medical decisions on behalf of the conservatee.
You will assist them in deciding where they will live, obtaining required medications, and making a variety of other medical decisions for them. When it comes to their health care, people with mental capacity problems sometimes don't understand what they need to do. A person's life can actually be saved by having a Conservator of the Person.
The estate is under conservatorship. If the judge feels the conservatee cannot control their assets or is vulnerable to undue interference, the court may appoint a Conservator of the Estate. If you're named Conservator of the Estate, you'll be able to make financial decisions on behalf of the conservatee in most cases.
You seize possession of their properties and prudently handle them. You can put your liquid assets to work and sell real estate. However, there are several complex laws governing wealth management. You must also report to the court for every penny spent. The California legislature has enacted several safeguards to ensure that no Conservator can misuse Conservatee funds for personal gain.
When it comes to Conservatorship rules, there are several caveats and exceptions. This is a general description of what a Conservatorship is and when it is used. A Conservatorship is a way to go if you are worried about a friend or family member is unable to handle their health care or assets, and implementing estate planning documents is impractical.
Conservatorships in Los Angeles
A conservatorship is created in California when a judge appoints someone or a group of people to make decisions on behalf of someone else. The Conservator or conservators make the decisions that control either the conservatee's treatment or their finances — or both. An estate planning attorney may apply for a conservatorship when an adult is unable to care for themselves or their Los Angeles properties.
However, there are many forms of conservatorships, and you should seek the advice of a knowledgeable Los Angeles conservatorship solicitor unless you want to risk making the wrong decision and jeopardizing your loved one's care.
A regular conservatorship is one of the styles, and it may be a conservatorship of both the individual and the estate, or only the person. A Limited Conservatorship, or conservatorship for people with intellectual disabilities, is the other choice. There is a third type of conservatorship known as a Temporary Conservatorship to further complicate matters, but this is just a temporary form of security placed in place while the courts are processing a general conservatorship.
A general conservatorship, also known as a daily conservatorship, can be divided into two parts. The Conservatorship of the Person, or the first portion, is responsible for the individual's personal care and health, including lodging, food, medical treatment, and any health-related decisions. The Conservatorship of the Estate, on the other hand, is mainly concerned with financial matters such as bill payment and income collection on behalf of the conservatee.
A conservatorship of the individual and a conservatorship of the estate are usually required and filed at the same time. A restricted conservatorship is all that is required for adults with disabilities or other developmental problems, which means that only one conservatorship is pursued, such as a conservatorship of the individual, a conservatorship of the assets, or both.
A conservatorship of the individual may be necessary if, for example, someone's mental ability is intact, but their health is deteriorating. A younger person in good health who is not of sound mind, on the other hand, can need an estate conservatorship.
However, if the conservatee is willing to sign and recognize an Advance Healthcare Directive or Durable Power of Attorney, a Los Angeles estate planning attorney can choose to forego a conservatorship entirely. When a conservatee is willing to stick to a set schedule or is in a relationship with a spouse or partner that can manage health and financial matters, a conservatorship can be dropped. A representative payee is required if a conservatee is only receiving Social Security or benefits, though a conservatorship of the individual may also be required.
When filed by a Los Angeles conservatorship solicitor, conservatorships continue until the conservatee's death unless otherwise stated, such as when the conservatee was unable to make decisions for themselves due to a serious illness or accident. However, defined-end conservatorships are uncommon, and a power of attorney or a healthcare order might be more appropriate in these situations. In some rare cases, a conservatorship may be terminated if the conservatee's assets are depleted, though the person's conservatorship may continue.
Temporary vs. Permanent Conservatorship
When an elderly person or their property must be protected from injury or damage, a temporary Conservator is required. For example, if a caregiver is abusing the elderly person financially, you can need and rush to court to secure temporary conservatorship to prevent access to the accounts.
If a temporary Conservatorship is not obtained, the first hearing on the general conservatorship is typically 6-8 weeks out, depending on the county. The issue here isn't so much an immediate need to handle assets or medical treatment as it is determining the best course of action to ensure the elder's long-term care and wellbeing.
Limited vs. Complete Conservatorship
A restricted conservatorship is a legal decision-making power granted to anyone caring for another adult with a developmental disability. A restricted conservator is an adult who has been given the authority to care for another person. They are caring for a limited conservatee, an individual with a developmental disability.
When a restricted conservatorship is granted, the court must determine if the person being cared for identifies as a person with a developmental disability and whether the person seeking appointment as the Conservator is eligible.
A restricted conservatorship gives the limited Conservator the authority to make personal and/or financial decisions on behalf of the limited conservatee.
Guardianship vs. Conservatorship
This can be difficult. A guardianship is for those under the age of eighteen, and a conservatorship is for those who are eighteen and up. A conservatorship is sometimes referred to as guardianship in states other than California. As a result, if you live in California and choose to care for an elderly member of your family, you can apply for a conservatorship. It's important to consider the distinctions between a guardianship and a conservatorship, as well as when you may need both.
A guardianship gives you the authority to make healthcare and other non-financial decisions for a family member who is sick, injured, or disabled.
On the other hand, a conservatorship gives you the power to make financial choices about a loved one who has an intellectual disability.
You will need both conservatorship and guardianship to properly care for your loved one. You'd be able to make healthcare, financial, and non-financial decisions for that individual if you merged the two.
You will only need a guardianship if you don't need to make financial decisions for the individual but do need to make healthcare decisions.
What Does a Conservator Do?
The Conservator's job is to make personal decisions on behalf of the conservatee. If the individual has properties, it may also require financial decisions, but most restricted conservatorships are for the person only. At the hearing, the court can determine which decisions a conservator may make.
The proposed Conservator may request seven powers over the proposed conservatee. If the Conservator is given these rights, the court effectively takes them away from the small conservatee and gives them to the Conservator.
To create the proposed conservatee's residence or specific dwelling place.
To obtain access to and restrict access to the proposed conservatee's sensitive documents and papers.
To exercise power over the proposed conservatee's contractual rights.
To grant or deny medical consent.
To give or withhold consent to the limited conservatee's marriage.
To make all decisions about the planned conservatee's education and training.
To keep tabs on the proposed conservatee's social and sexual interactions.
Establishing a Limited Conservatorship
A restricted conservatorship necessitates a number of measures as well as a court hearing.
1: Locate an experienced conservatorship lawyer.
Finding a estate planning attorney who can guide you through this complex and frustrating process is the first step in creating a restricted conservatorship. There will be a lot of paperwork to fill out, and you will be required to appear in court at least once, if not several times, as compared to handling the process alone. Having a estate planning attorney by your side will make the process more relaxed and less stressful.
2: Pick a conservatorship form.
Conservatorships come in a variety of forms. Before you begin, you must first determine which option is best for your family.
The following are the most famous conservatorships:
Conservatorship and restrictions
Conservatorship on a temporary basis (for emergencies)
Conservatorship in general (if the proposed conservatee is so disabled that a limited conservatorship would be inadequate)
You can proceed to the next stage until you've determined which form of conservatorship is best for your family. A estate planning attorney will assist you if you're not sure which form of conservatorship is right for you.
3: Complete the paperwork.
Before you can proceed with your application for a conservatorship for your family, you must fill out and send numerous forms to the court.
These are some of the forms available:
GC-310 Probate Conservator Appointment Petition
Notice of Hearing GC-020