Watching anyone you love succumb to a debilitating illness is painful, but when that person is your husband or wife, it can be devastating. When your spouse’s condition causes them to go in and out of lucidity, it can be hard to know how reasonable he or she is going to be on a given day. They may even get to a place where they can no longer safely drive, take care of their physical needs, or comprehend financial transactions. At this point, it may be time to ask the court to appoint you, or someone else, to make decisions on your spouse’s behalf through a legal conservatorship. When you recognize that legal intervention will be necessary, it’s essential to be able to act as soon as possible. Here is what to do when your spouse needs a conservator:
A legal conservatorship is when a court appoints an adult to make certain decisions for another adult. In California, any concerned party can petition a probate court to appoint a conservator for another adult when they believe they have good cause. Typically, the petition will include facts describing how the person is unable to care for their physical or financial needs. The pleading may also be accompanied by medical records and other evidence supporting the claims. If, after an investigation and hearing on the matter, the probate court agrees that the individual needs someone to protect his or her interests due to an impairment, it will appoint a legal conservator.
In California, a conservatorship of the person is when the conservator makes sure the individual’s physical needs are managed. The appointed person will be responsible for seeing to it that the conservatee’s food, clothing, shelter, recreation, and healthcare needs are met. A conservatorship of the estate occurs when the conservator manages the conservatee’s financial affairs. The conservator of the estate would attend to issues such as paying bills, collecting income, and safeguarding accounts.
If your spouse has an illness such as Alzheimer’s that interferes with his or her ability to take care of their basic physical needs, attending to household finances may also be a struggle. In this situation, your husband or wife may need both types of conservatorship. However, your partner’s condition may be such that they can feed, bathe, and dress themselves but only need help with banking matters. In this instance, only one kind of conservatorship may be required,
In many instances, spouses end up being appointed conservators for their partners. While it’s logical that the person with the closest relationship would take on this crucial role, it’s important to have a full understanding of the responsibilities of being a conservator. If you believe your spouse needs a conservatorship, it’s imperative that you meet with an experienced California conservatorship attorney as soon as possible in order to discuss your concerns. Your attorney will be able to help you understand the different procedures and requirements involved and explain the process. He or she will also be able to help you determine the best type of conservatorship for your family’s circumstances and manage issues as they arise. Additionally, you will have someone there to interface with the court and ensure that all of the legal and technical conditions for your case are met. Your California conservatorship attorney can provide guidance and support as you perform your duties and ensure your spouse has the care and protection they need.
At the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo, we are California conservatorship attorneys with the experience you need to help you plan for your spouse’s needs today and in the future. Please contact us online or by phone today to start your solution.