Conservatorship

For more than eleven years, our attorneys have provided representation to Conservators of the Person and Estate. We represent individuals, licensed private professional fiduciaries, and entities in connection with Conservatorships of the Person and Conservatorships of the Estate, including the preparation and filing of petitions for the appointment of Conservators of the Person and Conservators of the Estate, and including the ongoing representation of Conservators of the Person and Conservators of the Estate to advise and assist them with the performance of their duties as Conservators.

Common petitions we assist our clients to prepare and file include:

  • Petition for Appointment of Conservator of the Person and/or Estate
  • Accountings
  • Petitions for Instructions
  • Petitions for Fees
  • Petitions for Substituted Judgment
  • Petitions for Termination and Distribution

A Probate Conservatorship is a formal probate court proceeding where a judge appoints a person or an organization (called the “Conservator”) to care for another adult (called the “Conservatee”) who cannot manage his or her own personal care, health care and/or manage his or her own finances. Often the Conservatee is an older person who has impairments relating to the aging process, but the Conservatee may also be a younger individual who, as a result of injury, illness or other circumstances, is unable to care for his or her own personal needs or manage his or her own finances.

A Conservator of the Person and/or Estate may be appointed for an adult who lacks capacity to make his or her own personal or financial decisions, or for an adult who needs protection from others because he or she has become susceptible to undue influence. We help our clients explore all other possible avenues for the protection of a vulnerable adult before proceeding with a Conservatorship.

The probate court can appoint a Conservator of the person, a Conservator of the Estate, or both, depending on the type assistance the Conservatee needs.

The duties and responsibilities of a Conservator under California law are extensive and usually demanding. Often, someone close to the incapacitated individual, such as a spouse, registered domestic partner, family or friends will recognize the need for a Conservator and that person (or persons) file a petition to ask that they be appointed as the Conservator for their own spouse, family member or friend.

Other times, a Conservator of the Person or Estate is needed, but there is no one, such as a spouse, family or trusted friend, who is available or willing to serve as Conservator for the incapacitated adult. In this situation, we help our clients to identify a professional who may be able to serve as Conservator. We work with several California licensed Private Professional Fiduciaries who may be able to help.

We work with our clients to explore all options and alternatives to Conservatorship as a means to help an incapacitated or otherwise vulnerable adult, but sometimes a Conservatorship is the only viable option.

Often, we can help our clients avoid Conservatorships and allow them to plan for their personal and medical care and for the management of their finances should they become incapacitated. A Conservatorship may be avoided for an individual if he or she has in place the appropriate estate planning documents, such as Trusts, Advance Health Care Directives and Durable Powers of Attorney. For more information on planning for incapacity, please see our estate planning page.

Please call (310)392-9677 or e-mail the Law Offices of Karen Knutson for a consultation with one of our experienced Conservatorship lawyers regarding your Conservatorship matter.

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