What you need to know before seeking a conservatorship

What you need to know before seeking a conservatorship

| Jul 20, 2020 | Estate Planning

You may have a loved one with mental and physical abilities severely diminished due to an accident, aging or sickness of the body or mind. As a result, your loved one may no longer be able to take sufficient care of himself or herself. 

We understand that, as a caring and responsible person, you may wonder what you can do to help someone close to you in such a vulnerable position. You may be able to seek a conservatorship of the affected individual. Because we know that the term may be unfamiliar to you, here is a brief overview. 

Is a conservator the same as a guardian? 

A guardian may have similar responsibilities to a conservator. However, California law specifies that a guardian is someone who carries out such responsibilities on behalf of a minor child, while a conservator acts in the interest of an incapacitated adult. 

What does a conservator do? 

A conservator makes decisions on behalf of someone who is unable to make them himself or herself. When the court appoints you as a conservator, it grants you certain legal rights. The exact rights you receive depend upon the type of conservatorship. 

What are the different types of conservatorship? 

There are two types of conservatorship. If you are a conservator of the estate, you have the right and responsibility to handle financial matters on behalf of your conservatee. Becoming a conservator of the person makes you responsible for your conservatee’s protection and physical care. 

In either case, a conservator can seek the help of others in carrying out these responsibilities, such as financial advisors or health care providers. The court may appoint you as the conservator of both the estate and of the person or choose one role for you and appoint someone else to the other position. This depends on the needs of the individual.