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Conservatorship and Conservatorship Advice by Attorneys Lawyers

What is a Conservatorship?  A Probate Conservatorship in California is a judicially created relationship where an adult is given the legal authority and responsibility to care for another adult.   Our Los Angeles & Sherman Oaks Conservatorship lawyers can assist you with the conservatorship process in Los Angeles County.

Types of Conservatorship:

General Conservatorships in Los Angeles County can be three basic types:

1) Conservatorship of the person; 2) Conservatorship of the Estate; and 3) Conservatorship of person and estate.

There are several other types of Conservatorship matters also available such as LPS Conservatorships (mental health) and Developmentally Disabled Conservatorship, which is also called a Limited Conservatorship.    A Limited Conservatorship is generally used for special needs persons.

Who can file for a Conservatorship?

Generally, spouses, children, relatives, friends, the public guardian, and professional fiduciaries.

If there are several persons who have filed competing petitions for conservatorship requesting that each becomes the conservator, the court will decide who shall become the conservator.  Preference rules exist for making such a determination. Contested Conservatorship proceedings can take long and may result in a trial.

A conservatorship must continue until the court orders the conservator relieved from his or her duties. This can happen if the conservatee dies; if the estate is used up; if the conservatee regains his or her capacity; or if the conservator becomes unable or unwilling to act. In the last situation, the court will assign a successor conservator.

Conservatorships are time-consuming and expensive. They should only be used when absolutely necessary
Candidates for conservatorships are usually disabled.  Some conservatees may have Alzheimer's disease, dementia, parkinsons, autism, or other diseases.   Once a Conservators is appointed, the Conservator can ask the Court for permission to do Medi-Cal planning for the Conservatee including substituted judgment petitions to protect the assets from Medi-Cal, and to purchase or sell property of the Conservatee.


Conservatorship proceedings and actions of conservators are court supervised. 

Family members are given notice of the proceeding and financial records of the conservatee are summarized in an accounting filed with the court.

When a Conservatee needs psychiatric medications, the Court reviews a doctor's declaration regarding the need for the medication.    The ability of the Conservator to administer dementia medication depends on the court's approval of administering such medication.

When a Conservator wants to sell real property or purchase real property, the court must give permission for such a transaction, especially when it involves moving the Conservatee from his or her home.

A PVP attorney is sometimes appointed for the Conservatee.  The role of this type of attorney is to advocate the wishes of the proposed conservatee when there is litigation, or when rights of the Conservatee are affected.  We have served Sherman Oaks California Residents since 1992.

California Conservatorship Process:

Conservatorship proceedings usually start when a person is so incapacitated that he or she cannot manage his/her own affairs. The person who is the caretaker is called the conservator, and the person who is being taken care of is called the conservatee.

The conservatorship proceeding begins with a petition filed with the court, followed by an investigation by a court investigator and a court hearing. Many factors can affect a conservatorship. For example, if the conservatee objects to the conservator's appointment, he or she may object and the court will assign counsel for the conservatee for that purpose.

A conservator of the estate is required to provide accountings that give details of the conservatee's assets, income and expenses, showing exactly how the conservatee's money was spent. Additionally, the court will require that the conservator of the estate to post a bond. The conservator is paid by the conservatee's estate and the court supervises the reasonableness of the payments to the conservator.

Why are Power of Attorney Documents Not Enough in Certain Situations?

1.   You cannot force a patient to take psychotropic medications with a power of attorney.   Doctors cannot administer psychotropic medications without the patient's consent, even if there is a power of attorney.
2.   You cannot prevent the elder/ disabled from entering into a contract, transferring assets and property, or prevent them from marrying with a power of attorney.
3.   If the disabled person lacks capacity at the time of siging, you will have an invalid power of attorney.

While a valid power of attorney document can authorize the power of attorney holder to accomplish certain tasks of a conservator, a power of attorney cannot prevent the ill person from contracting, conveying property or marrying. For example, a patient with Alzheimer's disease may become subject to fraud or undue influence by unscrupulous persons. 

While he or she could have given a valid power of attorney while he or she was well, he or she may be befriended, may marry, and convey his or her property to a new spouse. In that situation, the probate code provides that a conservatorship may be established, and the conservator may ask the court to set aside any contract entered into by the ill conservatee.

The advantage of the conservatorship is that it can safeguard against fraud or undue influence by a third party against the ill person.   Conservatorships can get costly when there is litigation involved.  Persons filing for conservatorship should consider the costs before filing.   Sherman Oaks Ca residents have hired us for over 22 years to assist them with Conservatorships.

What is a Contested Conservatorship or Conservatorship Litigation matter?

Contested Conservatorship and conservatorship litigation can involve any of the following situations:

1. Objections to the initial appointment of a particular person as a conservator.

2. Removal of an existing Conservator for cause.

3. Actions requesting appointment of a successor conservator to which others object.

4. Disputes involving contested conservatorship accountings.

5. Determination of a undue influence on an elderly or disabled person.

6. Objections to Proposed Actions by Conservator including substituted judgment actions and trusts.

7. Family mediations in determining the best conservator.

8. Requests to terminate a conservatorship or modify powers in a conservatorship.

9. Determination of rights to assets and disputes relating to ownership and title.

10. Conservatorship trials.

Our Sherman Oaks attorneys are ready to serve Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys residents with Conservatorships.  Call us at 818-340-4479 for more information on conservatorship and contested conservatorship and conservatorship litigation matters.  Attorneys for Conservatorships in Sherman Oaks; Conservatorship Attorney Sherman Oaks.   Conservatorship Attorney Site.   Free Consultation.