Irvine, CA Estate Planning: Conservatorship Basics

Irvine, CA Estate Planning: Conservatorship Basics

Conservatorships are California legal arrangements made for adult persons who are having difficulty managing their own affairs. This may only involve financial affairs but may also involve an inability to handle personal needs such as housing and medical care. If you need a California conservatorship established or just need some information, contact the top-tier California Estate Planning attorneys at Guardian Litigation Group. We are located in Irvine, California, in Orange County. Our number is (949) 444-5474.

Guardianships vs. Conservatorships

In California, guardianships are distinguished from conservatorships. The former is generally limited to minor children, while conservatorships are for adults who need assistance in taking care of their affairs. Typically, both involve intervention by a California probate court in the appointment of a person to act as a guardian or conservator. For conservatorships, the California probate court must make a finding — based on the evidence presented to the court — that a person is unable to take care of their own needs and that the person seeking to be appointed as a conservator is qualified and capable of acting in that capacity.

The Legal Process

As noted, a conservatorship can only be established by a California probate judge after a judicial determination that an adult is unable to manage their affairs. The person seeking to become a conservator must file a petition with the local county California probate court. The court will review the petition, send someone to investigate the facts presented, hear evidence, and make a determination. Generally, if a conservatorship is established, the court will set the parameters of the conservatorship. For example, a conservatorship can be limited to certain types of financial affairs or can be general, with the conservator being involved in housing, health care, and the daily needs of the person. Generally speaking, conservatorships come in four types here in California:

  • Probate conservatorship — this is the most commonly sought conservatorship; this is for adults who are unable to provide for their financial or personal needs due to injury, mental decline, or other reasons
  • Limited conservatorship — this is for those with more severe incapacities, such as those who are developmentally disabled
  • Lanternman-Petris-Short conservatorships — for those who are gravely disabled due to a mental disorder who may be a danger to themselves or others and requires hospitalization
  • Temporary conservatorships — emergency-type conservatorships generally lasting only 30-60 days; often requested and established when a person is temporarily medically incapacitated (such as after an accident)

Duties of a conservator

The duties of a conservator depend on the type and scope of the conservatorship. For example, with a conservatorship limited to financial affairs, the duties may involve mundane matters like paying bills, opening mail, and depositing checks. With more intensive conservatorships, the duties may involve decisions about where a person lives, hiring medical care professionals, ensuring the provision of food, clothing, and other living necessities, etc.

Contact Our Experienced Orange County Estate Planning Attorneys

For more information, contact the Irvine, California Guardianship and Conservatorship attorneys at Guardian Litigation Group. Our Mission is to provide compassionate and insightful legal guidance for our clients. We can be reached via our contact page or by phone at (949) 444-5474. We are located in Irvine, California, and provide legal services for all neighboring communities here in Orange County.