If someone close to you is no longer able to care for themselves, one of our probate lawyers can help you set up a conservatorship, also known as an adult guardianship, to make sure that your loved one is cared for and their property is looked after in a professional and competent manner.
Ideally, a person will have already appointed someone to care for their well-being and their estate, in the event that they do become incapacitated. If not, however, a judge can appoint a conservator for them. A person or an organization can be appointed to the role of conservator.
There are three types of Conservatorships:
- Conservator of a person
- Conservator of an estate
- Conservator of the person and the estate
The Responsibilities of the Conservator of a person includes:
- Deciding where a conservatee will reside.
- Arranging for a conservatee's care.
- Taking care of a conservatee's food, clothing, transportation, exercise, and housekeeping.
Every conservator is supervised and held accountable for their responsibilities by the court that appointed them. Without a court's permission, a conservator of a person is not allowed to:
- Move the conservatee to a different state.
- Place the conservatee in a mental health facility.
- Consent to or refuse medical treatment.
For example, a conservator cannot decide to move a conservatee from San Jose, California to Las Vegas, Nevada without checking with the court first to get their approval.
Even if someone is appointed a conservator, the conservatee is still entitled to certain rights. This includes:
- Having control over their own salary.
- Having their own attorney.
- Deciding whether or not to marry.
- Deciding what to include in their will.
- Being allowed to receive mail.
- Having the right to vote.
- Being allowed to make their own health care decisions (unless a judge decides otherwise).
- Having their wishes and desires taken into consideration by the conservator.
- Being treated well by the conservator.
- Asking a judge to terminate the conservatorship.
- Requesting that a judge replace their conservator.
The Role of the Conservator of an Estate can include:
- Overseeing the conservatee's finances and property.
- Ensuring that all the conservatee's bills and needs are paid.
- Investing the conservatee's money.
- Ensuring that the conservatee receives all of his or her benefits.
- Filing the conservatee's taxes.
- Maintaining updated lists of all assets and financial records.
- Submitting regular reports regarding the conservatee's estate to the court.
Unless approved by a court, the conservator of an estate cannot:
- Borrow money from the estate.
- Pay themselves by using the estate's finances.
- Give away any part of the estate.
The Role of a Limited Conservator of a Person:
A court can establish a limited conservatorship for the care of a person who is developmentally disabled. A limited conservator has "limited" responsibility over this person's care and property. The court will issue a Letters of Conservatorship that strictly stipulates the conservator's role and responsibilities.
The Role of a Temporary Conservator:
A temporary conservatorship is set up to last until the termination date printed on the Letters of Temporary Conservatorship. Although a temporary conservator has the same responsibilities and authority that a regular conservator has, he or she can only occupy the role until a permanent conservator is named.
If you are someone who would like to appoint a conservator for your loved one, or you are a conservator who needs legal assistance managing the conservatorship that you have been appointed, Sagaria Law, P.C. can help you.