An estimated 1.3 million Americans are currently under conservatorships, according to The National Council on Disability. That 1.3 million is made up of all kinds of people—from elderly infirm individuals to people with mental health barriers to the rich and famous. If you’re associated with one of those situations in Alameda County, CA, as a conservator (or are about to be), it’s best you learn about the conservatorship application process and discover how to file for conservatorship in Alameda County, CA.

In this article, you’ll learn what a conservatorship is as well as how to file for one in Alameda County. If you ended up here after searching for adult guardianships, don’t worry; we cover accounts for those as well.

What Is a Conservatorship in Alameda County, CA?

Alameda County applies the term “conservatorship” to anyone 18 years as well as older who is mentally incapacitated (cannot manage vital life decisions). A conservatorship is a legal process that defines the function of conservatees (dependent adults) and their conservators (legal caretakers). If you were wondering about adult guardianship in Alameda County, what you really want is a conservatorship.

A conservatee can rely on a conservator to take care of their daily needs as well as their funds depending on the type of conservatorship. Conservatorships can also be temporary or general depending on the ability of the conservatee to make life choices. A temporary conservatorship might be appropriate when adults don’t require a greater level of treatment and can make some choices themselves. Adults under general conservatorship, conversely, are seriously impaired and need help to manage themselves and/or their assets.

What Is a Conservator in Alameda County?

Basically, a conservator is designated by a court or court to make life choices for the conservatee. If you’re a conservator, you have a lawful obligation to make the best possible choices for the conservatee to the very best of your ability.

Anyone, including relatives and also close friends, can file a claim against a conservator if they discover a factor to think that they did not act for the conservatee’s benefit or that conservatorship abuse has actually happened. Adult Protective Services or the law can step in cases of conservator abuse, including financial abuse.

Who Can Be a Conservator?

How to File for Conservatorship in Alameda County, CA

In some cases, the incapacitated person has the psychological and physical capacity to express who their favored conservator is. This person is often someone close to the incapacitated person, such as a spouse or adult child.

Keep in mind that someone else, such as a relative, can object to the choice if they think that person wouldn’t make a good conservator. For example, if an elderly father tries to make his daughter with a known substance abuse problem his conservator, a concerned relative can file an objection to the petition.

How about when the conservatee is incapable of choosing a conservator? In that case, the court typically complies with a list of preferred conservators:

  1. The spouse or cohabitant
  2. Adult kid
  3. Parents
  4. Siblings
  5. Any other individual who accepts the role
  6. Public guardian

Regardless of this order, the court chooses the conservator by thinking about the conservatee’s needs. For individuals who require a conservator but have no appropriate relatives or pals to tackle power of attorney, a paid public guardian-conservator can step in.

How to File for Conservatorship in Alameda County?

If you think your loved one needs a conservator and you’re willing to shoulder that duty, you’ll want to pay careful attention to this section. To become a conservator in Alameda County, CA, you’ll need to follow these steps.

1. File a Conservatorship Request.

You are required to file a conservatorship request as a very first step. This application describes the recommended conservatee, their family members, and the petitioner/conservator. Make certain to suggest why the conservatorship is required and also why the various other options aren’t viable. For example, if the person has a mental illness that makes it difficult for them to care for their daily needs, be sure to include that.

To file in person in Alameda County, you’ll need to visit:

Berkeley Courthouse
2120 Martin Luther King, Jr. Way
Berkeley, California 94704
Phone: 510-647-4439

At the time of writing, office hours are between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday through Friday. Be sure to check the latest requirements regarding public safety and the COVID-19 vaccine before planning your visit.

2. Inform the Recommended Conservatee and Their Loved ones.

The Golden State requires the petitioner to have a representative serve the conservatorship application along with a duplicate to the proposed conservatee. You need to additionally have this carrier supply a copy of the application to the conservatee’s loved ones 15 days before the hearing date.

Why all this notifying? This process makes sure everyone, including the shielded individual, recognizes what’s going on and also has the chance to oppose if required.

3. Hearing

Before making any kind of decision in Alameda County Superior Court, the court establishes whether all parties have been notified of the conservatorship. Once that has been confirmed, the court can determine if the situation satisfies all requirements prior to providing the letters of conservatorship.

The soon-to-be-conservatee has to be present at the hearing unless they are ill. If the conservatee owns assets, the conservator also needs to file a guaranty bond. This requirement can be waived by Alameda County’s requirement if there’s a court order for the conservatee’s assets to be frozen.

Forms Required to File for Conservatorship in California.

How to File for Conservatorship in Alameda County, CA

These are the types you’ll require to file as a conservator. It is vital that you fill them out completely and don’t make mistakes for your case to go smoothly in Alameda County’s courts. You can get assistance with this from A People’s Choice.

  • GC-310 Application for Appointment of Probate Conservator.
  • GC-020 Notice of Hearing.
  • GC-320 Citation for Conservatorship.
  • GC-312 Confidential Supplemental Information.
  • GC 314 Confidential Conservator Testing Kind.
  • GC-335 Capacity Statement.
  • GC-340 Order Appointing Probate Conservator.

What Is a Conservatorship Account in Alameda County, CA?

If you successfully petition to become a conservator of the estate (monetary conservator) you’ll require a conservatorship account. A conservatorship holds assets and money owed by the conservatee, which you can then utilize to make monetary choices for the conservatee and pay their living expenses.

When opening and managing a conservatorship account, you need to clearly specify that the cash belongs to the conservatee. When you begin working as a conservator of the estate, you have to establish all the conservatee’s properties and divide those from your own assets.

If you’re handling the conservatee’s funds for any period of time, these steps are crucial. If you are vigilant in your record-keeping, no person can accuse you of commuting elder abuse and personal funds of the conservatee for individual gain.

Using a Conservatorship Account.

What is a conservatorship account like when in use? Essentially, as the individual rep of the individual with a physical or mental handicap, you’ll make use of the conservatorship account to maintain and manage properties for the conservatee. You’ll also ensure the conservatee’s financial stability by making sound financial decisions on their behalf.

You may draw from the account to take care of the conservatee’s financial affairs, This can include paying bills on time, paying for access to quality care, and maintaining the personal property. You might additionally make down payments from governmental benefits, pay for public or private housing, deposit quantities of cash obtained from realty or a benefits program, etc.

Alameda County regulations understandably enforce specific constraints on the conservator to guarantee they protect the interests of the conservatee. You’re expected, as the conservator of the estate, to make an inventory of the individual’s properties, keep exact economic documents, and occasionally provide records to the court.

Should I Search for a Conservatorship Lawyer?

A conservatorship lawyer well versed in Alameda County legislation can assist you with much-needed paperwork in conservatorship, which can be a headache. However, if you make a decision to work with an attorney for long-term choices such as offering real property during a conservatorship, note that you can’t pay the attorney from the conservatorship account without court guidance. Further, even speaking with a lawyer by phone often incurs an exorbitant hourly fee.

There is one scenario in which you might want to take into consideration employing an attorney, however: if the suggested conservatee or their family members challenge the conservatorship using an application. If you need to go to a hearing, the would-be conservatee can acquire legal advice also. You as the petitioner have to oppose the counsel.

Such legal situations can be rather challenging, but a fluent conservatorship lawyer can assist you to browse the process. Under most other circumstances, you can handle the documents for a conservatorship on your own with help from a legal record preparation service like A People’s Choice.

File for Conservatorship in Alameda County, CA with A People’s Choice

Caring for a potential conservatee doesn’t need to be a headache, even if you want to avoid consulting a lawyer referral service. A People’s Choice is an alternative to an expensive law firm. Our online services can help you complete your lawful documentation in a fraction of the time as well as with better precision than you can manage on your own.

If you’re loved one has a time-sensitive case and needs help, you can start your online application with us today. We can also help you with all kinds of other civil legal paperwork, including estate administration, all types of wills, and more in the Alameda County community. Call us today to get started!