Conservatorships in California – What You Need to Know

Conservatorships in California – What You Need to Know

As an adult in the US, you are automatically considered capable of taking care of your affairs. However, if a Judge deems otherwise, the court can establish a conservatorship on your behalf. 

What Is a Conservatorship?

A conservatorship is a legal arrangement established for physically or mentally impaired individuals such as the elderly. This also includes individuals who have chronic illnesses, are severely impaired because of injuries from an accident, or are developmentally challenged. A conservator can also be established as a guardian who monitors said individuals’ physical care and manages their living arrangements. A California conservatorship cannot be established without a court proceeding. 

Types of Conservatorships

In California, you can take three types of conservatorship actions:

General Probate Conservatorship 

This conservatorship is for adults who cannot care for their personal needs because of injury, dementia, or other conditions. You can be a conservator of the court or a conservator of the person depending on the needs of said adult (aka conservatee) and as per the probate court’s ruling.

A conservator of the person:

  • Can decide where the conservatee will live.
  • Make arrangements for their protection and care.
  • Make arrangements for their meals, housekeeping, healthcare, transportation, recreation, clothing, personal care, and overall wellbeing. 
  • Report to the court on their status.
  • Get court approval for specific decisions about the conservatee’s overall healthcare and living arrangements. 

The conservator of the estate does the following on behalf of the conservatee:

  • Creates and maintains a budget.
  • Manage finances.
  • Pays bills.
  • Collects their income.
  • Locates, manages, and protects assets.
  • Invests their money responsibly.
  • Report to the court and the conservatee how they managed their assets.

Limited Conservatorship

As per California law, a Limited Conservatorship is only eligible for a person suffering from developmental disabilities. The conservator doesn’t have sole control in this case so that the conservatee can live independently.

Lanternamn-Petris-Short (LPS) Conservatorship 

A California court can assign a Lanternman-Petris-Short (LPS) conservatorship for a severely disabled individual with a mental disorder who can endanger themselves or others. In most cases, these conservatees need to be hospitalized or institutionalized. LPS conservators are changed on an annual basis. 

How to Become a Conservator in California 

If you wish to become a conservator for someone in California, you have two options. You can nominate yourself and file a petition with the court, or someone else can nominate you. Once that is done, you have to attend a hearing. If you are the petitioner, you have to inform the conservatee, their relatives, and other involved parties of the hearing. 

Before the hearing takes place, the court will investigate you by visiting you and examining the petition’s facts. Cooperate with the court-appointed investigator by giving them access. A positive report can expedite the process.  

Contact Guideway Legal Document & Mediation Services, Inc. For A Consultation 

Whether you need more information regarding conservatorships in California or wish to start uncontested conservatorship proceedings to care for a loved one, we can help. Get in touch with us at Guideway Legal Document & Mediation Services, Inc. for a consultation today!