When someone you love requires a conservatorship, it’s important to have the right person appointed to protect their interests. Ideally, your loved one will have a conservator who is able to attend to their needs and safeguard their well-being. However, there can be situations when a conservator is not capable of performing their duties. In this circumstance, you need to know: Can you change conservators in California?
What is a California Conservatorship?
A California conservatorship is a legal relationship where one adult has court-ordered authority to make decisions on behalf of an incapacitated adult. These appointments are made when an individual is not able to make decisions on their own. A conservatorship is usually needed when someone has a significant decline in cognitive functioning or has a serious disability.
There are two types of California conservators:
A conservator of the person and a conservator of the estate.
- A conservator of the person makes decisions regarding where the conservatee’s physical needs, including their medical care and where they live. Additionally, this type of conservator will be responsible for making sure the individual has adequate food and shelter and that their recreational needs are met.
- A conservator of the estate is appointed to take over the conservatee’s financial responsibilities and interests. This type of conservator will collect money owed to the individual, pay their bills, and safeguard their financial interests. A conservator of the estate can also make reasonably prudent investments on behalf of the conservatee.
What is the Conservator’s Role?
Someone appointed to be another person’s conservator will have significant responsibilities. Although there may be some court supervision, a conservator will be left to make important decisions regarding the conservatee’s life.
A conservator of the estate has a fiduciary duty to the conservatee. A conservator of the person must make sure they have sufficient food, clothing, and shelter and decide about medical procedures and care. Some conservator decisions may require court approval, such as selling a home or deciding to end artificial support.
Why Would a Conservator be Removed?
There are numerous reasons why a conservator may need to be removed. It may be that the appointed individual is no longer able to attend to their responsibilities due to illness or other obligations. The conservator may also recognize that they don’t have the time or qualifications to perform the necessary tasks. There can also be situations where concerned loved ones believe the conservator is not properly attending to the conservatee’s needs or interests.
Can a Conservator be Removed?
California conservatorships are under court supervision, and if a concerned party believes it’s necessary to remove a conservator, they can petition the probate court. Conservators can also request to be removed and replaced.
If you believe your loved one’s conservator needs to be removed, it would be best to consult with an experienced California conservatorship attorney to review your concerns. Your counsel can help you evaluate the situation and determine how to best protect your loved one’s interests.
Does My Loved One Have to Have a Conservator?
Depending on the facts, a conservatorship may or may not be necessary. Often, the process can be avoided through proactive estate planning. Using devices such as an Advance Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney for Finances may help address your loved one’s needs without a conservatorship.
Contact an Experienced Conservatorship and Estate Planning Attorney
When a loved one needs assistance with their care or finances, it’s important to take action to protect their interests. An experienced California conservatorship and estate planning attorney can help. At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we are California conservatorship and estate planning attorneys with the experience you need to plan for your mother’s needs. Please get in touch with us online or by phone to schedule an appointment today.