LOS ANGELES PROBATE
Conservatorship and Guardianship Attorneys Lawyers
CONSERVATORSHIPS: A Conservatorship is a legal procedure to help Northridge residents when it is necessary to have someone with legal authority and responsibility to care for another adult. The Court appoints a Conservator to take on the role of a caretaker for the disabled person. Conservatorships are generally needed for persons who cannot care for themselves, when no estate planning has been done, or where a power of attorney is not a suitable alternative. Our Conservatorship lawyers can assist Northridge residents with the conservatorship process and in planning for the well-being of your loved ones in Northridge Ca.
Types of Conservatorship:
In 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 (Limited) Conservatorships.
Who normally files 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 generally continues 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.
A permanent Conservatorship lasts as long as the Conservatee is alive, and should only be used when absolutely necessary. Candidates for conservatorships are usually elderly or 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.
PROTECTION FOR THE ELDERLY AND DISABLED WITH A CONSERVATORSHIP
Conservatorship proceedings and actions of conservators are court supervised and are protective proceedings.
In a Conservatorship, the Court can suspend a power of attorney.
Conservators of estate are bonded which insures recovery to an estate in the event the assets are lost through a breach of fiduciary duty by the Conservator.
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 Burbank California Residents since 1992.
California Conservatorship Process:
Conservatorships become necessary and 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 a court appointed counsel for the conservatee for that purpose.
A conservator of the estate is required to account and to provide schedules of accountings to the court and interested parties, which 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.
A FEW THINGS YOU CANNOT DO WITH A POWER OF ATTORNEY DOCUMENT:
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 contracts, transferring assets and property, or prevent them from marrying with a power of attorney. Prohibitions from acting have to be obtained via a court order in a Conservatorship.
3. If the disabled person lacks capacity at the time of siging, you will have an invalid power of attorney.
See our full article on 8 Things You Cannot Do with a Power of Attorney in California.
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. A person with a power of attorney cannot prepare a will for the conservatee. 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. North ridge Ca residents have hired us for over 22 years to assist them with Conservatorships.
Contested Conservatorship or Conservatorship Litigation: Competing Petitions.
Contested Conservatorship and conservatorship litigation matters often 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 mediation helps in determining who will be 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. Petitions to create wills or trusts in a Conservatorship (called Substituted Judgment Petitions).
11. Conservatorship trials.
Our Specialist attorney is ready to serve Northridge residents with Conservatorships. Call us at 818.340.4479 for more information on conservatorships and contested conservatorship sand conservatorship litigation matters. Northridge Conservatorship Attorney.
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