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A Conservatorship Can Provide Important Protections For Loved Ones

A general conservatorship in California is appropriate for an adult who cannot take care of themselves or their finances due to a disability or old age. A limited conservatorship in California may be implemented when an adult is able to manage some but not all aspects of daily living.

When the time comes, we want to know that our loved ones will be financially secure and are in charge of the inheritance you leave behind. A conservatorship in California is a court process where one person (a conservator) is appointed to be the decision maker and manage the financial affairs for another person (the conservatee). This process can be time consuming and emotional, especially when you are trying to decide who will be in charge of your family’s financial affairs. Whether it is beneficial to pursue or avoid a conservatorship, our conservatorship attorney can evaluate your situation and pursue the correct option. We understand that cases relating to conservatorship law can be sensitive and treat each with great care.

Utilizing a conservatorship attorney at the Law Offices of Alice A. Salvo in Woodland Hills, our lawyers provide clients effective estate planning strategies and extensive knowledge that can help them plan for the future. We are personally invested in every conservatorship law case and can help you make smart decisions to save both money and time. With more than 25 years of estate planning experience, we understand what avenues to pursue to meet your goals and protect what is most important to you and your family.

Petitioning For A Conservatorship In California

When a conservatorship is needed immediately, the court may appoint a temporary conservator initially and eventually appoint a general conservator. A conservatorship attorney is familiar with this process and will prepare all court documents and handle court appearances.

Various people may petition for a conservatorship in California such as:

  • The spouse of the proposed conservatee
  • The proposed conservatee’s relative
  • An interested friend of the proposed conservatee
  • The proposed conservatee
  • A private professional fiduciary

When applying for a conservatorship in California, it must be determined if it is to be a conservatorship of the person or a conservatorship of the estate. It also must be decided if both are required. The conservator of the person oversees the conservatee’s physical needs. The conservator of the estate is responsible for overseeing the conservatee’s financial matters.

Tips For Conservatorship In California

Since a conservatorship allows for serious control over another person, the court is strict in the procedure during and after a conservator is appointed. As an experienced conservatorship attorney for Los Angeles area residents, we assist conservators to fulfill their fiduciary responsibilities regarding the conservatee’s living situation, health care, budget, income and additional duties assigned to a conservator.

Is It Possible To Avoid A Conservatorship In California

With a proper estate plan, which includes a living trust and powers of attorney, you may be able to avoid a conservatorship. When you become incapacitated, it is important to have someone you trust make decisions that affect your medical and personal care as well as manage all your financial affairs. If pursuing conservatorship law options is the most beneficial option for your situation, we will stand by you throughout the process. As a professional and knowledgeable conservatorship attorney in Los Angeles County we promptly address any concerns throughout the process.

When Do You Need A Conservatorship Attorney?

If you have a family member who has not set up an estate plan for themselves and who is not able to responsibly handle their own finances, then it is advisable to contact a conservatorship attorney. When a loved one is beginning to lose, or has lost, capacity to take care of themselves and you sense it is possible their affairs may be mismanaged by someone else, then it is time to consult with a conservatorship attorney.

We can discuss what to do now to reduce and eliminate future financial loss, address any mental health concerns and understand what living environment may be best.

Do I Have To File For Conservatorship?

Not always, other choices may be considered. Understand that creating a conservatorship deprives the conservatee of all ability to make their own decisions. With this in mind, a conservatorship may not be the best option. Alternatives exist, such as living trusts, protective orders, joint bank accounts, an advance health care directive or financial powers of attorney.

Types of Los Angeles Conservatorships

In California, a conservatorship is established when a judge appoints a person or a group of people to make decisions on behalf of another. The decisions are made by the conservator or conservators, which governs either the conservatee’s care or their finances — or both. When an adult is unable to care for themselves or their Los Angeles estate, a conservatorship can be petitioned by an attorney.

But there are multiple types of conservatorships, and the advice of a competent Los Angeles conservatorship attorney is needed unless you don’t mind making the wrong decision and running the risk of harming your loved one’s care.

One of the types is called a Regular Conservatorship, which can be a conservatorship of both the person and the estate, or the person or the estate. The other is a Limited Conservatorship, or a conservatorship for persons with developmental disabilities. To make matters more confusing, there is also a third type of conservatorship called a Temporary Conservatorship, but that’s just a temporary form of protection put in place while a general conservatorship works its way through the courts.

As mentioned, a general conservatorship seeks to provide management of the care and finances of someone that is unable to care for both themselves. Most often, they are invoked when an elder has shown reduced mental capacity and the family has decided it would be in their best interest of the conservatee to make decisions on their behalf.

A general conservatorship or regular conservatorship may consist of two parts. The first part, or the Conservatorship of the Person, is tasked with the individual’s personal care and health, with an eye towards things like housing, food, medical attention and any health-related decisions. On the other hand, the Conservatorship of the Estate is primarily concerned with financial matters such as the payment of bills or income collection on behalf of the conservatee.

Most times, both a conservatorship of the person and a conservatorship of the estate are needed and are filed at the same time. However, for adults with disabilities or other developmental issues, a limited conservatorship is all that is needed, which means that only one conservatorship is sought, such as a conservatorship of the person or a conservatorship of the estate or both.

If, for example, someone’s mental capacity is robust, but their health is on the decline, a conservatorship of the person may be in order. But a younger person with good health that is not of sound mind may require a conservatorship of the estate.

That said, a Los Angeles conservatorship attorney may elect to skip a conservatorship altogether if the conservatee is able to sign and understand an Advance Healthcare Directive or Durable Power of Attorney. Other reasons for dropping a conservatorship is when a conservatee is able to keep up with a defined plan, or if they’re in a partnership where the spouse or partner can handle health and financial matters. If a conservatee is only receiving Social Security or welfare, a representative payee is warranted instead, though a conservatorship of the person may still be needed.

When filed by a Los Angeles conservatorship attorney, conservatorships last until the end of the conservatee’s life unless specified otherwise, such as when following a serious illness or accident where the conservatee was unable to make decisions for themselves. However, these types of defined-end conservatorships are rare and something like power of attorney or a healthcare directive may be better suited to the circumstances. In other rare instances, a conservatorship may also be terminated if the conservatee’s assets are exhausted, though a conservatorship of the person may remain in effect.

If you are wondering how to get a conservatorship in California, contact Los Angeles conservatorship attorney Alice A. Salvo. Alice and her team are ready and able to answer any questions you may have about conservatorships, and her years of experience as a conservatorship attorney in Los Angeles, CA, means that you will have the best legal minds helping you prepare for the continued care of your loved one.

Contact Us For Assistance With Conservatorship Law In Los Angeles

Please contact our convenient Woodland Hills conservatorship attorney to schedule a free initial consultation. For those seeking a conservatorship attorney in Los Angeles County, we provide all necessary services and guidance for the conservator, conservatee or a family member.

Please call 818-676-9572 or use our online contact form to schedule a free review of your particular situation. We will provide answers and discuss any important concerns you have regarding conservatorship law.

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