A California conservatorship may be brought in the Superior Court on behalf of a person, an estate, or both. A conservatorship over a person (known as the conservatee) is proper where that person cannot provide for his or her health, food, clothing or shelter. A conservator of the estate may be appointed for a person who is substantially unable to manage his or her own financial resources or resist fraud or undue influence. Details must be provided in the court petition to substantiate the need for the appointment of a Conservator. Information must also be included pertaining to the other alternatives that have been considered and the current services that the conservatee is receiving or has received for the year prior to the petition. The court also requires that the conservatee’s physician complete a medical declaration.
Who can File for Conservatorship?
A petition for conservatorship may be filed by any of the following:
- The proposed conservatee
- The spouse or domestic partner of the proposed conservatee
- A relative of the proposed conservatee
- Any interested state or local entity or agency or any interested public officer or employee of this state or of a local public entity of this state
- Any other interested person or friend of the proposed conservatee.
Nomination of the Conservator
The person that is appointed by the court to make decisions on behalf of the conservatee is known as the Conservator. The conservatee may nominate the Conservator either by petition to the court or by a signed writing as long as the conservatee has the capacity to make such a nomination. Another option is for the spouse, domestic partner, or an adult child, parent, or sibling of the conservatee to nominate a conservator either in the petition or at the hearing. A nomination will be considered by the court, but the court holds the sole discretion to make the final decision regarding the proper person for the job.
If you are appointed as the Conservator
If you are appointed as the Conservator you are a fiduciary and must act in the best interests of the conservatee. You take on certain duties and responsibilities and must answer to the court for every action you take. As the conservator of the estate you will be required to keep full and accurate records for all transactions and file a formal accounting with the court on a regular basis.
How do I know if a Conservatorship is needed?
If you or someone you know is having trouble making decisions about their health care, providing for their everyday needs, such as food, clothing and shelter or are unable to pay bills or make financial decisions, a conservatorship may be appropriate. If you know someone that is being taken advantage of by another person or is having trouble resisting the influence of another, a conservatorship may be appropriate. A conservatorship would also be appropriate if a person is misusing the assets of another.
A conservatorship is not just available to protect seniors. It can be established for any adult person that needs assistance or protection.
If you are considering a Conservatorship, we can help you
Hoffman & Hoffman has successfully established conservatorships in Sacramento, Placer and El Dorado Counties. We can help you evaluate whether a conservatorship or one of the other alternatives would be best for your situation. If a court proceeding is the best option, we can help you maneuver through the legal system, prepare all the necessary legal documents and represent you at all court hearings.
We have represented all types of parties to conservatorship actions including the conservator, conservatee, or interested family members. Contact our office to schedule an appointment with an experienced Hoffman & Hoffman attorney today.