Conservatorships are court cases that help find responsible and willing adults or organizations (conservators) to take care of another adult (conservatee) who may not be able to take care of themselves because of developmental disabilities, cognitive issues or a serious accident. A conservatee can assign their responsibilities to conservators like the managing of their finances and or healthcare.
Types of conservatorships in California
There are three types of conservatorships in California. California defines general conservatorship, the most common type, to be the care of a young or elderly person who cannot take care of themselves or their finances because of a serious impairment. In most cases, impairment is caused by things like automobile accidents or debilitating injuries. Limited and Lanterman-Petris-Short(LPS) conservatorships are for individuals who suffer from developmental disabilities or mental health issues, respectively.
What are conservators responsible for?
If a conservator is assisting a person, it is their responsibility to arrange housing and house maintenance, food, healthcare, transportation, and personal care of the conservatee. Conservators are also responsible for regularly reporting to the court how the conservatee is doing and if any changes need to be made to the list of responsibilities.
If a conservator is also responsible for a person’s estate, they will help collect and verify income, create budgets, pay bills, and manage all of a conservatee’s finances. This type of conservatorship is less common and carries much more responsibility.
Applying for conservatorship in California
Conservatorships in California are used to determine who the most appropriate person to become a conservator would be. Conservators are typically domestic partners, state or local agencies, direct relatives of the conservatee, or close friends. If a conservatee is fit to decide their own conservator, a court may allow them to nominate someone independently. Following the nomination of a conservatee, a judge overseeing conservatorships in California will determine who would look after a conservatee’s best interests and appoint them.
If you are exploring the possibility of a conservatorship for a loved one, contact Louis Pacella, Attorney-at-Law, to discuss the particular facts and circumstances of your situation.