A conservatorship is a court case where a judge appoints a responsible person or organization (called the “conservator”) to care for another adult (called the “conservatee”) who cannot care for themselves or manage their own finances or medical decisions.
Generally, conservatorships are established for someone who is in a coma or vegetative state, suffers from advanced Alzheimer’s disease, developmental disorder such as autism, or has other serious illnesses or injuries.
There are different types of conservatorship depending on the seriousness of the condition. For example, “limited conservatorship” is generally for people with developmental disabilities such as autism and often applies to clients of the regional center. “General conservatorship” is often used in other types of situations such as when a senior has dementia.
Also, if a court appoints someone to take care of the finances of another person, the appointed person is called a “conservator of the estate.” If a court appoints someone to take care of the medical and personal decisions of another person, the appointed person is called a “conservatorship of the person.”
Setting up a conservatorship can be a long and complex process.
You start the process by filing a petition with the court with all the necessary forms and fees. Then, you need to inform the proposed conservatee, i.e., the person who you want to be able to make legal, financial and medical decisions for. You also need to inform all the proposed conservatee’s relatives. This is so that they get a fair chance to object or agree to the proposed conservator. The court takes it very seriously when it comes to taking away the independence and autonomy of a person. Then, a court investigator will talk to the proposed conservatee to help the judge make a decision. Lastly, at the hearing, the judge will decide whether a conservatorship is necessary and what degree of power is needed.
At Kundani & Chang, we can help you maneuver through the court process and bring clarity back to the picture. Contact us today to get started.