conservatorshipIf 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.

We handle conservatorship and other estate planning matters. CONTACT US ONLINE, OR CALL US AT 1-866-447-8460 TO SCHEDULE A CONSULTATION. WE HAVE OFFICES IN SAN JOSE, FREMONT, and SAN RAMON.

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