Conservatorships - The Law Offices of Attorney Cheryl Walsh in Orange County, CAA conservator is someone appointed by a judge to oversee the affairs of an incapacitated or incompetent person, referred to as the “Conservatee”. A conservator who manages financial affairs is called a “conservator of the estate.” One who takes care of personal matters, such as healthcare and living arrangements, is known as a “conservator of the person.” Often times, the conservator of the person and estate are the same person. In other states, the term “guardianship” is used to refer to the same legal principle as a conservatorship. However, in California, conservatorships are for adults and guardianships are for minors.

After a petition for conservatorship is filed in the probate court in the county where the Conservatee resides, a court investigator must review the facts of the case, visit the proposed conservatee and submit a written report to the court before the court makes a decision. A petition for conservatorship can be brought for an incompetent, incapacitated or developmentally disabled adult. The legal process for conservatorship of incapacitated or incompetent adults are different from those for developmentally disabled adults.

After a Petition for Conservatorship is filed, if the Proposed Conservatee suffers from dementia or expresses an objection to the Conservatorship, the Court will appoint an attorney to represent them. If the Proposed Conservatee is so impaired that they are unable to have an attorney-client relationship, the court may appoint a Guardian Ad Litem (“GAL”). It is the responsibility of the GAL to advise the Court as to what they believe is in the best interest of the Proposed Conservatee.

The conservatorship process for developmentally disabled persons is different from other conservatorship proceedings because developmentally disabled persons may retain more control over their personal affairs than other conservatees. The Court will only allow the Conservator as much authority over the conservatee as is necessary, representing the least restrictive alternative to provide for the support of maintenance of the Conservatee.

FAQ’s about Conservatorships

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