Riverside Conservatorship Attorneys
A conservator is a person who is appointed by the court to oversee all financial and personal affairs of an adult who has been deemed incapable of managing their own affairs. Two types of conservators exist:
- Conservator of Estate: This type of conservator provides supervision of the financial affairs of an adult who cannot manage their own affairs regarding their property. It must be proved that property will be wasted unless management is provided.
- Conservator of Person: This type of conservator provides supervision of the personal affairs of an individual. This can include decision making rights regarding nutritious meals, clothing, safe and adequate housing, personal hygiene and protecting the individual from physical abuse or harm.
To initiate a conservator proceeding, an Appointment for Conservator form must be completed and filed with the court by any person for any person who is allegedly incapable of managing his/her own affairs.
The person who files the form with the court has the responsibility of suggesting an appropriate conservator, but ultimately it is the court’s decision based on the best interests of the person in need.
The process for appointing a conservator includes:
- 1.A person who wishes to assign a conservator files a petition with the court for the jurisdiction where the allegedly legally incapacitated person resides. The petition usually includes medical evidence to prove the person’s incapacity and also identifies the person or persons who desire to be named the person’s conservator. The person who wished to be the conservator does not need to be the person who files the petition.
- The court will arrange for any necessary evaluation to determine the statements filed in the petition.
- If the allegedly incapacitated person contests the appointment of a conservator, then a trial is scheduled in which sworn testimony is to be given. At the conclusion of the trial, the judge will determine whether a conservator is needed and appoint one.
- If and when a conservator is appointed, the judge will issue “letters of authority” to the newly appointed conservator, which permits the conservator to act on behalf of the legally incapacitated person.
The first duty as a conservator is to take a full inventory of all of the person’s assets and report them to the court.
If a conservator will be paying money on behalf of the person they are caring for, it is required to open a bank account that reflects the conservatorship. The bank account should be opened in the name of the conservator and state that they are the “Conservator of the Estate of” the person they care for. The conservator will be responsible for recording and accounting for all expenditures and is responsible for all assets of the estate. The court usually requires annual reports of expenditures, but they may be required more frequently, depending on the situation.
If the incapacitated person has assets which are not in use and must be maintained, the conservator can seek permission from the court to either rent or sell off the assets. The same rule applies for vehicles.
If the incapacitated person is capable of making financial decisions, the conservator must allow this person to make these decisions to the extent of which they are able.
Conservatorships can be complicated and the exceptions and additions to the role of conservator can be endless. For questions or your free consultation with an experienced California conservatorship lawyer, please call Eliana Phelps today.