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A conservatorship is the right given to a person for the purpose of managing the property and finances of a person who is unable or incapacitated to carry out those operations for him or herself. This process, also known as adult guardianship, is a legal process by which someone is appointed by a Court to be the person primarily responsible for making financial and medical decisions on behalf of the incapacitated person. The appointed person (conservator) takes care of the needs of the incapacitated person (conservatee).
A conservatorships, or adult guardianship, is a concept that refers to the rights given to a person to legally make decisions and take care of all responsibilities for another person that is unable to do so for him or herself. Conservatorships are typically established for individuals suffering from comas, incapacitating medial conditions, disabilities, or other severe injuries and illnesses that leave the person unable to take care of themselves and unable to make decisions pertaining to their assets, finances, health, etc. The appointed person (the conservator) has the authority and responsibility to manage the finances, properties, responsibilities and medical decisions of the person that is unable to carry out these operations for him or herself (the conservatee).
If a person planned ahead and legally appointed a power of attorney in advance of their incapacitation, he or she would not need a conservator because the person named in the power of attorney documents would become the guardian or protector for the person in need. However, if a person did not or was unable to plan ahead, a court will need to appoint a conservatorship.
There are two types of conservatorships - LPS and Probate. An LPS conservatorship is for mental health patients and is established by the mental health treatment facility in which the patientÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s care will be placed. A probate conservatorship is for most other incapacitated or disabled individuals that cannot care for themselves or manage their own finances. The conservators in these cases are typically family members or close friends of the individual in need. In either type of conservatorship, the court might appoint one person or facility to take care of financial matters (called a "conservator of the estate") and a different person to take care of medical and personal decisions or responsibilities (called a "conservator of the person"). One person may also be appointed to serve as both.
LPS and Probate conservatorships are the two types of conservatorships. An LPS conservatorship is established by a treatment facility. A Probate Conservatorship is initiated by a close family member or friend of the disabled person. If the disabled person has not or cannot choose a conservator, that person's spouse, child, parent, sibling or close friend can volunteer to be the conservator. If no such person is willing to do so, there are professional conservators who could be retained or a public guardian may be the conservator. After the conservator has been assigned, the next step is the court process. Court investigators will review documents such as medical reports and other declarations. Conservatorships are terminated upon the conservatee's death or by court order. Sometimes, the court will appoint the person is charge of financial matters differs from the person who is in charge of making medical and personal decisions.
Conservatorships are usually set up for people who suffer major medical ailments, are in comas, or have other serious injuries and illnesses. Appointed conservators are responsible for managing finances, protecting the conservatee's assets, making an inventory of conservatee's assets, ensuring flow of benefits and income, filling tax returns and other accounts.
Establishing a conservatorship often requires court proceedings, extensive documentation, and possibly a bond if the conservatorship involves finances. It is highly recommended that a trained conservatorship lawyer be consulted while going through this process.
If a disabled or incapacitated person cannot appoint their own conservator, a family member or close friend may volunteer, or the courts may appoint a public guardian or professional conservator. Either way, it must be documented legally by the court system and it is subject to ongoing supervision by the court. Having a wills and estate planning lawyer help with this process, all documentation, and all proceedings may be extremely useful and can save the involved parties both time and money.
Experienced attorneys can help determine if a conservatorship is the right option for your family or for your family member. Many professionals and business representatives may become involved in the Conservatorship planning process. The State Bar recommends that people seek advice from a qualified wills and estate lawyer when handling such issues.
If you are considering going establish or need to change conservatorship, call us and we will refer you to the right conservatorship lawyer in your area.
If you have any questions about the information provided above, please contact us. Call us toll free at (800) 215-1190 or fill out out online form for your Wills and Estate Planning lawyer referral.