When an adult is under a California conservatorship, he or she may no longer be able to take care of their physical needs or manage their financial affairs. The conservator has a legal relationship with the conservatee in this situation and specific duties under the law. Being another person’s conservator is a serious commitment and involves several important responsibilities. When a conservator is no longer willing, able, or fit to serve in this role, they will need to be replaced as soon as possible. Here is what you need to know about changing conservators in California:
Ending the Conservatorship Relationship
When you are a conservator of the person, you are responsible for making sure the conservatee has adequate food, transportation, clothing, healthcare, and shelter. A conservator of the estate has to take care of the conservatee’s finances, pay bills, and collect any money owed to the individual. A person transitioning out of these roles will be required to take several steps prior to walking away. Otherwise, the conservatee would be left without anyone to meet their most essential needs and protect their interests.
A conservator who wants or needs to voluntarily resign may petition the probate court and request permission to do so. It is advisable to have another suitable conservator to nominate for the role when filing the petition. Ordinarily, when a conservator asks to be relieved of his or her responsibilities, the court will grant the request. However, the court will require that the conservator complete multiple tasks to transfer responsibility to the new conservator, such as submitting a full accounting, transferring assets, and delivering all necessary documents.
Having the Conservator Removed
Under California law, a conservatee’s spouse, friend, relative, or any other interested person can ask for a conservators removal by filing a petition with the court. The petition should state the reasons why the conservator is not fit to serve in their role. The court can also remove a conservator upon its own discretion when it determines that removal is in the best interests of the conservatee. There are several reasons that may be cited as a basis to remove a conservator, such as a failure to use ordinary care and diligence in the management of the estate, displaying a continued failure to perform his or her duties suitably, or being convicted of a felony. If a petition to remove a conservator is filed, there will be a hearing during which the conservator and the challenging party can submit evidence. If the conservator is involuntarily removed, he or she will have the same responsibilities to transfer assets and information to the court or new conservator if one has been appointed.
Conservatorship can be complicated, and it’s crucial to have the advice of experienced counsel when considering challenging or ending a conservatorship appointment. At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we are knowledgeable and experienced California conservatorship attorneys with the experience you need to help you evaluate your situation. Contact us today to schedule your consultation.