Recently, pop musician Brittany Spears made headlines when she appeared in a California probate court. The Grammy winner was there to ask that the conservator of her multi-million-dollar estate, her father, be removed and replaced. The court denied Ms. Spear’s request but left the issue open for future consideration. Over the past twelve years, the singer has been to court numerous times regarding her conservatorship. The Spears matter is an example of one type of case where those involved have needed the skills of an experienced conservatorship attorney. What kind of person does a conservatorship lawyer help?
In California, a conservatorship exists when another adult or organization has the legal authority to make decisions on behalf of an impaired individual. The impairment may be due to a diminished capacity from a degenerative condition like dementia. It may also occur because of a sudden event such as an unexpected illness or accident. There can also be circumstances where an individual has a psychiatric condition or intellectual disability that impairs their ability to care for themselves or manage their affairs.
Types of Conservatorships
Conservators are necessary when an adult has an impairment that interferes with their ability to meet their physical or financial needs. California has two types of conservatorships:
Conservatorship of the Person- A conservatorship of the person is required when someone needs another adult to make decisions about their health and well-being. The conservator of the person will make choices about the conservatee’s healthcare and where they live. They will also ensure that the conservatee has transportation, food, and clothing.
Conservatorship of the Estate- A conservator of the estate will take care of the conservatees’ financial interests. This usually includes paying the conservatee’s bills, accepting funds that are due to them, and making deposits. The estate conservator may also take on more complex tasks such as managing business and investment accounts.
A person with a severe impairment will often require both a conservatorship of the person and a conservatorship of the estate. The same person usually serves in both roles. In many cases, the conservator will be a close relative or loved one of the conservatee.
Whom Can a Conservatorship Lawyer Help?
A California conservatorship lawyer can help anyone involved in a conservatorship case. This may include petitioners who want to see a proposed conservatee protected, concerned loved ones, and conservators. A California conservatorship attorney is knowledgeable about the law and processes involved with a case. The attorney will prepare all of the necessary documents and ensure that they are properly served on all of the required parties. A California conservatorship attorney can advise petitioners throughout the process and respond to the court’s inquiries. Further, the court frequently appoints counsel to represent conservatees.
California law is complex, and being appointed a conservator is a tremendous responsibility. Although these relationships have legal implications, they are often established between non-lawyers. The conservator will have duties under the law and will be accountable to the court. A conservatorship lawyer can explain the legal requirements and help the conservator navigate the process. Conservatorship attorneys can help conservators understand their obligations and advise them about meeting the requirements of their roles. As circumstances arise with the conservatee, conservatorship attorneys can provide guidance and assist the conservator when and if the time comes to return to court.
At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we are experienced California conservatorship lawyers who can help you evaluate your situation and plan for the future. Please contact us online or by phone to set up a free consultation today. https://www.salvolaw.com/