Conservators are persons who have court-ordered authority and responsibility to manage the affairs of those who can no longer make their own decisions about finances or health care. Common examples of such situations include individuals suffering memory loss from Alzheimer’s or dementia. In these situations, the adult will eventually become unable to make decisions regarding their health and medical concerns, and they will incapable of assuming responsibility for the care of their property and assets. It is for this reason that the legal role of conservatorship was created.
Conservatorships, or living probates, are legal proceedings where responsible people are appointed as conservators for infirm adults. Conservatorships can be complicated and the exceptions and additions to the role of conservator can be endless. Just about anyone, including the proposed conservatee, can file a petition for conservatorship. Judges appoint conservators in a specific order. The order of priority is: spouse, adult child, parent, sibling, any other interested person such as a family friend, and finally a public guardian.
The person with highest priority may decline to be conservatee, and he or she can nominate another. If all qualified family members and friends refuse to serve, the court will likely appoint a private professional fiduciary or public guardian. A fiduciary is an individual is who must act for the benefit of another party and in whom the other party has placed the utmost trust and confidence to manage and protect their property and money. A part of city government, the Office of the Public Guardian handles all matters referred to the county for cases where a public guardian has been appointed conservator of person and/or their estate.
Probate judges must find that a proposed conservatee lacks the ability to provide for self care and protection before appointing a conservator. Appointments take about six weeks from the filing date. They may take longer if there is opposition. In rare cases of extreme urgency, a temporary conservator may be appointed within a couple of days.
Anat Resnik serves clients throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area. Conservatorships can be stressful and difficult for any family. You need a qualified family lawyer to provide you with experienced and professional guidance and advice. When considering a conservatorship, the best division you can make is to contact the Law Offices of Anat Resnik if you are seeking the legal authority to care for the well-being of a loved one.
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