There are times when a loved one can no longer handle his or her financial and/or medical affairs and a family member or friend needs to proceed with a conservatorship. Conservatorship involves significant legal and emotional issues and at our law firm you can count on our attorneys to compassionately and professionally guide you through the formal conservatorship process.
What is a Conservatorship
There are two types of conservatorships. A conservator of the person is appointed to protect a person when the Court determines “that person” or he or she cannot provide for his or her own activities of daily living. The conservator is then responsible for making sure the conservatee has proper food, clothing, medical care and housing. A conservatorship of the estate handles the conservatee’s financial matters, including paying bills and collecting the income.
The Conservatorship Procedure
If a conservatorship is the proper approach, commencing a conservatorship is complex even in an uncontested proceeding. Almost any person with a relationship to the proposed conservatee can start the process. This includes a spouse, child, parent, relative, friend, even a creditor or a government official. The petitioner files a petition for conservatorship and the numerous ancillary documents setting forth the reasons why the court should appoint a conservator. Sometimes the factual situation is so dire that an immediate temporary conservatorship is necessary and services may include a petition for temporary conservatorship to be imposed while the court performs its investigation into the request for a permanent conservatorship. Once the conservatorship petition has been filed with the court, the petitioner then provides notice to the proposed conservatee and all persons entitled to notice of the proceeding. Thereafter, the court conducts its own pre-hearing investigation to make a recommendation to the court to either grant or deny the petition. At the hearing, the court takes into consideration the allegations set forth in the petition, the report findings and any other pleadings or written positions made by the petitioner, the proposed conservatee and others that may interject into the process. Ultimately the court will either grant or deny the petition.
Once Conservatorship Is In Place
Assuming the conservatorship petition is granted, the conservator then is empowered to perform all appointed tasks on behalf of the conservatee. If the court appoints a conservator of the estate, then generally the conservator must provide the court with ongoing reports at specified intervals and account for all the financial transactions made during the accounting period. Given our firm’s extensive experience in conservatorship matters, we assist our clients with filing timely reports and accounting information to meet court approval.
Conservatorships are serious matters that can help remedy very serious and even dangerous situations. You can count on our firm to expertly guide you through every step of the conservatorship process.