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The basics and duties of a conservatorship

Torrance Probate and Estate Planning Attorney

The basics and duties of a conservatorship

There are many things in life that individuals in California and elsewhere may not fully understand until they or a loved one are going through it. Although the Free Britney Movement has helped bring light to conservatorship and what it entails, many may still be unaware of its purpose, what benefits it could provide and the setbacks involved.

Basics of conservatorship

A conservatorship is where a judge appoints a person or organization to care for an adult who is deemed unable to care for him or herself or manage his or her own finances. There are different types of conservatorships, and depending on the situation and the needs of the conservatee, one type may be more effective and appropriate than another.

Probate conservatorships are the most common type and are based on the laws in the California Probate code. They can be general, which is designed for adults who cannot take care of themselves or their finances. There is also a limited probate conservatorship, which is for adults with developmental disabilities that are unable to fully care for themselves or their finances.

Another type is a Lanterman-Petris-Short or LPS conservatorship. These are for adults with serious mental health illnesses, requiring special care. These are often used for those needing very restrictive living arrangements and require extensive mental health treatments.

Duties of a conservator

A conservator owes duties to both the person and their estate. For the person, a conservator owes the duty to arrange for his or her care and protection, decide where he or she will live, make arrangements for their meals, health care, clothing, personal care, housekeeping, transportation, shelter, recreation and wellbeing, obtain approval from the court regarding certain decisions about their health care or living arrangements and report to the court the current status of the conservatee.

Their duties to the estate include managing their finances, locating and taking control of all assets, collecting the income of the conservatee, making an budget for the conservatee, paying the conservatee’s bills, responsibly invest their money, protect their assets and account to the court for the management of their assets.

Whether you seek to establish a conservatorship or modify a current one, it is vital to understand the situation and how best to move forward with it. While loved ones may have an aging loved one’s interests in mind, it is still possible to argue against it or even change the individual appointed. Thus, one should understand their legal rights and options when involved in such a matter.