When an adult is no longer able to attend to his or her physical needs or manage their financial interests, the probate court may appoint another adult to serve as the individual’s legal conservator. When you are the conservatee in this relationship, another person is allowed to make crucial decisions that impact your life. Therefore it’s vital to know what to expect from your California conservator.
Conservator of the Person
If you have a conservatorship of the person, this means that your conservator is responsible for seeing that your physical needs are met. The conservator must: arrange for your care and protection, decide where you live, ensure you have food, medical care, clothing, transportation, recreation, and shelter. This person also has a duty to ask the court for approval regarding certain decisions about your health care and living arrangements and must routinely report on your status.
Conservatorship of the Estate
If you are under a conservatorship of the estate, your conservator has a duty to: manage your finances, collect your income and debts, make a budget and show what you can afford, pay your bills, locate and control your assets, manage your investments, protect your property, and provide a detailed accounting of their activities to the probate court.
General v. Limited Conservatorships
California law provides that conservatorships can be general or limited. General conservatorships are broader and are typically used for individuals who have more severe impairments. Limited conservatorships are for those who have difficulties meeting their physical needs or managing their finances. However, these conservatorships are restricted only to those areas where the person is having problems rather than being all-inclusive.
Conservatees Still Have Rights
When you become a conservatee, you do not necessarily lose your right to have a say in decisions about what happens to you or your interests. Your conservator should be conferring with you as much as possible and listening to your concerns. The court will be overseeing this relationship, and you can complain if you feel the conservator is not fulfilling his or her responsibilities. You also have the right to ask that your conservator be removed and replaced if you think they are not doing a good job.
Conservatorships can be complicated, and it’s crucial to know your conservator’s responsibilities. 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.