CONSERVATORSHIP LAWYER SERVICES & SUPPORT
When an adult in California can no longer care for themselves or handle their own financial or medical decisions on their own due to disability or mental incapacity, the courts may appoint a conservator to care for them. Similar to guardianships for minor children, conservatorships are used to appoint a person or organization to provide care for a disabled adult and make important decisions on their behalf. If you are looking to become a conservator for an elderly or otherwise disabled loved one, Werner Law Firm's knowledgeable conservatorship lawyer services and support can provide the steadfast legal guidance needed to simplify the process on your behalf.
Having earned various awards and accolades throughout our firm’s lengthy existence, including a 10.0 “Superb” Avvo Rating and multiple consecutive “Best of SCV” awards from The Signal newspaper, our conservatorship lawyer team has the skills and knowledge you need to help you navigate through the process of applying for conservatorship with ease. We understand the laws surrounding your situation intimately, and we know how to get the results you need. Get in touch with an award-winning conservatorship lawyer at Werner Law Firm today.
Types of Conservatorships in California
There are two main categories of conservatorships in California:
1. Probate Conservatorships
The most common types of conservatorships are based on California probate law. Probate conservatorships are used to provide care for adults who cannot fully take care of themselves or their finances, such as elderly people or younger individuals with developmental disabilities or those who have been seriously impaired following an accident. These conservatorships can be general or limited in scope depending on the needs of the “conservatee” or the person being cared for.
2. Lanterman-Petris Short (LPS) Conservatorships
LPS conservatorships are used to care for individuals with extreme mental illnesses who require specialized care, such as individuals who require institutionalization or extensive mental health treatments. These conservatorships must be initiated by a government agency and are much less common than probate conservatorships.
Conservators may be appointed:
- To care for a person’s physical well-being, known as the conservator of the person, or;
- To manage their financial matters on their behalf, known as a conservator of the estate.
Individuals who are appointed conservators of the person are not automatically made the conservator of the estate. Conservators who wish to hold both positions must petition with the courts and be explicitly granted these authorities.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Conservator?
Conservators are conferred different responsibilities on behalf of their conservatee depending on the type of conservatorship. A conservator of the person is responsible for ensuring a disabled person’s safety and wellbeing, including providing meals, health care, clothing, transportation, housing, recreation, and housekeeping services. Conservators of the person must receive court approval for decisions regarding the conservatee’s health or living arrangements, as well as provide the courts with regular reports on the conservatee’s current status.
Conservators of the estate have different responsibilities. Estate conservators must sensibly manage the conservatee’s finances, including making and adhering to budgets, paying bills, making wise investments, and protecting the conservatee’s assets. Like conservators of the person, conservators of the estate must also check in with the courts and provide accurate reports regarding the conservatee’s finances.
Who Can Be a Conservator?
A wide range of different parties may apply to be a conservator, though the courts will decide based on the conservatee's best interests. If a conservatee has nominated someone themselves and has the mental ability to express their preference, that person will be appointed unless the courts deem this decision to contradict the conservatee’s best interests. Otherwise, interested parties may petition with the courts to become a conservator. A conservator may be any of the following parties:
- ADULT CHILDREN
- PUBLIC GUARDIANS
- STATE OR LOCAL ENTITIES