WHAT IS A CONSERVATORSHIP?
A conservatorship is a legal proceeding to obtain a guardianship over a person over the age of 18. Often, a probate conservatorship is advised when an older person is unable to make their own medical or financial decisions because they are injured, sick or not aging well. Adults who are developmentally disabled or the victims of a catastrophic illness or accident also may have a conservatorship as noted below.
In most cases, a family member or loved one obtains a probate conservatorship over an elderly adult who needs assistance. For a conservatorship to be ordered by the judge, the adult needing help is one who lacks capacity or consent to the conservatorship. In some instances, family members are incapable or unavailable to serve as conservators. In this instance, non-family conservators can be appointed, and TLD Law can work with individuals and the courts to find a legitimate agency or individual to serve in a conservator capacity.
A conservatorship proceeding usually takes place in the county where the person resides.
HOW TO AVOID A CONSERVATORSHIP
In California, the judge only grants a conservatorship where there is no other least restrictive alternative available. A conservatorship can be avoided if the person already has valid estate planning documents in place like a revocable living trust, a durable power of attorney, or advance health care directive. If the estate planning documents exist and are valid, they can often be activated in lieu of a conservatorship. TLD Law attorneys can consult with you to see if a conservatorship is needed.
WHAT IS A LIMITED CONSERVATORSHIP?
This is a narrow type of conservatorship that is obtained over an adult who has a developmental disability from birth or early childhood and lacks capacity now that they are age 18 and older. A limited conservatorship allows this young adult to have court supervision in place for someone to make medical and financial decisions for this person as they navigate adulthood. A limited conservatorship is often sought when the young adult is receiving services from a local Regional Center or has disabilities that affect their capacity to make sound financial and medical decisions.
This type of conservatorship is easier to obtain, and TLD Law attorneys are happy to offer insight if a limited conservatorship would be appropriate for the situation you have in mind.
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