California residents may find themselves having to look into setting up a conservatorship for a loved one. A conservatorship is a legal arrangement where someone is appointed to be in charge of an individual’s personal or financial affairs. This usually happens in the case of a person who is incapacitated due to illness or injury, or it could be set up for someone who is mentally disabled or unable to make decisions for themselves. Since these people are unable to manage their affairs themselves, the conservator will handle everything for them.
Many people assume that a conservatorship is the same thing as a guardianship. In the eyes of the law, although these two setups seem similar, they are different. With a guardianship, a person is assigned to take over the medical and physical care of someone who is unable to do it for themselves. A conservatorship generally covers the financial affairs of an incapacitated person, but duties may extend to personal and medical care as well depending on the state.
If someone is setting up a conservatorship for an individual, it will be established using a court order. It can be assigned to handle the legal care of a minor, someone who is mentally or physically incapacitated, a person who is suicidal or someone who is struggling with severe mental illness. Before the conservatorship can be set up, the incapacitated individual must be interviewed or examined by specialists like medical doctors, psychiatrists or psychologists who have experience diagnosing these specific illnesses and conditions. A diagnosis must be officially verified and documented before a conservatorship can be assigned.
People who are planning on setting up conservatorships for their loved ones may benefit from working with law firms that have experienced handling guardianships and conservatorships. A lawyer may help clients through every step that needs to be taken.