An elderly parent suffers a fall and can’t get around anymore. An octogenarian starts falling prey to scams targeting the elderly, losing tens of thousands of dollars. An adult sibling is in a horrible car accident, leaving them incapacitated and requiring substantial medical treatment and powerful drugs. If any of these things happen to a loved one in Newport Beach, Irvine, Garden Grove, or other cities in the area, you may need to learn how to file for conservatorship in Orange County, CA.
In this article, we’ll show you how a conservatorship can help a disabled person who requires special care. We’ll also the legal process, including whether you need a conservatorship lawyer, an overview of the court proceedings, and how to watch out for conservatorship fraud in Orange County.
Conservatorship vs. Guardianship in Orange County, CA
Before we dive in, there’s an important distinction we need to make between conservatorships and guardianships in California. In some areas, a conservatorship is legally defined as an adult taking care of a child and also managing their events. But in California, conservatorship signifies an adult caring for another adult and handling their affairs. It has nothing to do with children.
Let us expound on that a bit. By definition, in Orange County, conservatorship describes a court process or case in which the judge assigns a caretaker for an adult. That adult may need a conservatorship because they’re incapable of managing their personal life and/or financial matters. This caregiver may be an adult child, suitable family friend, professional conservator, or licensed agency who oversees the economic or personal affairs of the conservatee and protects their legal rights.
More youthful adults with mental health problems or various other persons can be registered in a conservatorship setup. Nevertheless, a minor child who requires such help in the County due to child abuse or other factors requires guardianship, not a conservatorship. This applies even if the child has an organic brain disorder that requires mental health treatment or other issues that would qualify an adult for a conservatorship.
Now, are you wondering about filing for a conservatorship? Read on to understand how to apply for conservatorship in Orange County. If you need to learn about guardianships, check out our article on the subject.
Do You Need a Conservatorship Attorney in Orange County, CA?
The procedure of declaring conservatorship in Orange County isn’t easy. It holds true that by seeking the services of conservatorship legal representatives, the whole process can be made much easier. The question is if hiring a conservatorship attorney is the best choice in this County, especially if you have financial restrictions.
If you prepare correctly, you can apply for conservatorship on your own with the aid of a legal document preparation solution like A People’s Choice. We can prepare all the files you need to declare a conservatorship.
However, there are some scenarios in which a conservatorship attorney can’t be avoided. Listed below, we will highlight a few minority reasons it might be sensible to employ a skilled conservatorship attorney.
What a Conservatorship Attorney Does in Orange County
If you’re brand-new to the conservatorship procedure, it may be tempting to employ an experienced conservatorship lawyer in Orange County. With specialized experience, the lawyer can:
- Assist in determining which type of conservatorship is best for your loved one
- Help you with filling out conservatorship paperwork
- File the initial petition to the court.
- Creating and delivering a notice. This part of the application procedure notifies the conservatee and their relatives of the hearing.
You may also need a conservatorship attorney if, after the notices are delivered, someone contests your application to become the conservator. In this case, both you and the opposing party may need representation.
When Is an Orange County Conservatorship Attorney Unnecessary?
If you have done sufficient research on the conservatorship procedure, you can begin submitting your papers without the need for a conservatorship lawyer. However, you do require a neutral 3rd party to submit the petition with the court and deliver the citation to the determined conservatee. This can simply be a friend unrelated to the case (who would undoubtedly charge much less than a lawyer!).
How to File for Conservatorship in Orange County, CA
Whether you’re going at it alone or with professional help, as you declare conservatorship in Orange County, California, you’ll need to appear in Orange County Superior Court. Located at 700 W Civic Center Dr, Santa Ana, CA 92701, United States, the court is open from 8 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday at the time of writing.
Here is the standard conservatorship hearing procedure in Orange County:
1. Apply for Conservatorship
Among the primary steps of getting conservatorship in Orange County is the initial application for conservatorship. The conservatorship petition covers details concerning the suggested conservatee, conservator, and situation. Additionally, it coverers special types of conservatorship (limited conservatorship, LPS conservatorship, and so on).
This paperwork additionally requires defining to the court why a conservatorship is the only means ahead What mental illnesses or physical limitations make the incapacitated person need a conservator?
When you’re ready, you can submit your application to the Orange County Superior Court. This likewise includes paying any required application fees.
2. Arrange for Notices to be Delivered
After you submit your paperwork, the court staff establishes a hearing day for your case. Once you have the date, you must arrange for a neutral adult to deliver a copy of the paperwork to the suggested conservatee. Additionally, your representative needs to similarly supply the members of the family of the suggested conservatee with personal notice of hearing.
3. Undergo Investigation
This investigation ensures the conservatorship is really necessary to manage the medical treatment, financial matters, and/or other affairs of the conservatee due to a mental health disorder drug addiction, or other similar issues. It also ensures you’re a responsible adult who won’t exert undue influence on the conservatee and is unlikely to commit elder abuse or financial abuse.
4. Attend Your Orange County Court Hearing
The court recognizes if all family members were appropriately notified by being offered a notification of the hearing before proceeding with your hearing. After reviewing all the information you supply, the conservatorship court could reject the conservatorship or authorize it throughout this hearing.
4. Undertake Your New Duties
As long as the court approves the conservatorship, the court submits an order marking the conservator and releasing the letters of conservatorship. When the court issues the letters, you’re able to assume the powers recognized in the court order.
Make sure to examine the California Handbook for Conservators for more information concerning your new responsibilities. This handbook can also assist you in navigating financial decisions, health care responsibilities, medical powers, involuntary treatment, and other issues related to personal conservators.
Avoiding Conservatorship Fraud Accusations in Orange County, CA
After a financial conservatorship is approved, conservators have to supervise the conservatee’s estate and also financial commitments. You can imagine that when a crooked conservator uses the conservatee’s estate funds for individual gain, it’s a serious cause for concern and could even result in criminal charges requiring an experienced lawyer.
The sad truth is that conservatorship scams are common. It’s usually a situation where a financial conservator claims to serve the interests of the conservatee while funneling the conservatee’s funds away for personal gain. When a conservatorship scam occurs, at-risk adults can lose a substantial quantity of personal property and even their entire estate properties to their court-appointed conservator.
You may know that you’d never do this to your conservatee, but others may not. To avoid legal issues such as a criminal hearing accusing you of committing a conservatorship scam, follow these steps.
Ways to Prevent a Conservatorship Fraud Accusation
Everyone has a function to play in making sure that instances of scams versus a conservatee remain reduced. Close family members loved ones, and friends of the conservatee will be reassured if you follow these steps.
1. Open and Establish Conservatorship Accounts
Conservatorship accounts are dedicated accounts from which you can manage the conservatee’s financial transactions. Keeping money in an account like this holds you more accountable and creates a paper trail. As a conservator of the estate, you should constantly put estate funds in interest-bearing accounts unless you need them for the conservatee’s ordinary expenditures. This helps the conservatee to grow their assets.
Additionally, the court may need you as the conservator to place the conservatee’s cash and securities in a blocked account. This safeguards the assets and might conserve the estate at the expense of a bond. Why? Put simply, nobody can take out funds from the obstructed account without the court’s consent, providing peace of mind to anyone worried regarding the finances of the estate.
2. Enlist in Automatic Bill Pay
Additionally, if you’re a conservator of the estate, enroll your conservatee in automated bill pay for routine financial transactions from credit card firms, mortgage holders, and the like. Paying bills by means of digital withdrawals limitations situations of fraudulence by conservators. It also guarantees the individual’s basic demands are covered.
3. Obtain Powers of Attorney and Estate Planning Documents
If you can, help your conservatee set up a durable power of attorney and medical care power of attorney documents before entering into the conservatorship. This covers their economic and also medical decisions if incapacitation takes place and gives other family members an opportunity to make legal decisions if more issues should occur with the conservatee’s mental ability or physical health.
Even after developing the power of attorney file, the conservatee may need to regularly review them with your help. They should likewise come up with an estate plan, a known preventative aid for conservator abuse. This can include elements like a living trust and revocable trust to protect the conservatee’s assets.
4. Make Certain the Conservatee Maintains Social Contact
This is the simplest means you can find of assuaging fears of taking financial advantage of your conservatee. Encourage your conservatees to take part in activities like this to the best of their physical ability:
– Religious activities
– Club activities
– Civic organizations
– Leisure activity groups
It will be obvious to members of these groups if the victim doesn’t have enough funds to look after themselves or is being cared for properly.
How to File for Conservatorship in Orange County, California with A People’s Choice
A conservatorship may be imperative for your loved one who suffers from mental disorders, physical limitations, drug addiction, or another similar issue. But completing the piles of documentation needed to file a conservatorship in Orange County, California can be daunting. Serving the County and beyond, A People’s Choice has effective as well as affordable conservatorship document preparation services.
We can’t provide legal advice or replace a probate lawyer; however, using our legal file online services will make it so much less complex for you to get a conservatorship set up in Orange County. We also cost a lot less than a conservatorship attorney. Our professional staff can help with temporary conservatorship forms, probate conservatorships, limited conservator power, notice by mail forms, and more. Call us today at 800-747-2780 to begin!
my son just turned 17 yrs w/autism can I apply for a conservatorship? Orange County.
You should speak to an attorney in regards to this matter.