LOS ANGELES PROBATE
As lawyers, we are often asked to interpret facts and law involving duties of Conservators in the Superior Court in Los Angeles. There are many nuances of law which require close attention to the Ca Probate Code, which when well performed, can make the Conservatorship a smooth process for a Conservator barring litigation.
Conservator of the Person:
1. Duty to determine the appropriate level of care. California law says that the least restrictive place for a Conservatee is his or her own home.
2. Duty to decide where the Conservatee will live. A conservator has to give notice of change of the Conservatee's residence. A conservator must also give a Notice of Intent to Change the Residence of the Conservatee and mail a copy to all relatives and parties. This has to occur 15 days before the Conservatee moves from his/ her home.
3. If you want to move the Conservatee out of California, you have to get permission from the court by a Petition to Fix Residecne Outside of California.
4. You have a duty to seek court authorization before you place a Conservatee in a locked facility.
5. Conservators have the duty to provide medical care for the conservatee. If the court has not given you exclusive authorization to make medical decisions, the conservatee still maintains the right to make such decisions.
6. You have the duty to seek a court order to administer dementia medication.
7. If the Conservatee dies, you must immediately notify the Court, parties and counsel.
Conservator of the Estate:
1. Conservators have the duty to protect the assets of the conservatee. Conservator's owe a duty of loyalty to the Conservatee and cannot put their personal interests ahead of the Conservatee's interest.
2. Each Conservator also has the duty to work with banks and other institutions regarding the assets of the conservatee to make sure title on each account belongs to the conservatorship estate. If there is a trustee who manages the assets of the conservatee, you have the duty to work with this person to make sure the expenses of the conservatee are appropriately paid.
3. Within 90 days after appointment as a conservator, you must file an Inventory and Appraisal in court and give notice of filing of it to parties and relatives.
4. Duty to comply with the Prudent Investor Rules re Conservatee's investments.
5. If you are bonded, you have the duty to increase the bond as you discover additional assets of the conservatee.
6. You must keep all assets of the conservatee separate from your assets.
7. You must collect all income of the conservatee, unless a representative payee is receiving the social security.
8. You also have the duty to pay all the bills (except attorneys fees and Conservator's fee before an order), file tax returns, pay all taxes, and keep financial records of the Conservatee. Attorneys fees and Conservator's fees require a prior order. A petition for compensation is needed for payment to the attorney and conservator.
9. You must file an accounting in court. The first one is due one year from when Letters are issued, and the next one is due two years there after, and every two years, unless the conservatee dies. If the conservatee dies, you must notify the court and to a final accounting and ask the court to allow you to distribute the assets to the executor or administrator, or other fiduciary where appropriate.
There are lots of other duties and rules for conservators in California, and the list above is not exhaustive. Consult with us when you are taking action to protect yourself and the conservatee.
If you are not sure of your duties, you can petition the court for instructions regarding how you should carry on a duty with specific facts.
The attorneys at Sirkin Law Group, P.C. have been advising Conservators and other fiduciaries since 1992. Contact us at 818.340.4479 or 800.300.9977. We serve all of Los Angeles County and advise trustees throughout the United States relating to duties of a trustee in California. Our offices are located in Los Angeles, Woodland Hills, Glendale, West Los Angeles, Pasadena and Irvine. Lawyers for Conservators Los Angeles Ca.
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