A conservatorship is a legal arrangement that allows a responsible adult to manage the personal care or financial matters of an impaired adult person. Under a conservatorship arrangement, the individual who is unable to care for himself is known as the conservatee. Additionally, the family member, friend, or business entity who cares for the conservatee is called the conservator, as outlined in California Probate Code. Please note that a conservatorship in California must be established through a court proceeding. However, to simplify the process, we’ve created a short guide outlining how to obtain conservatorship in California.
Types of Conservatorships
There are two types of conservatorships in California: limited conservatorship and general conservatorship. In a limited conservatorship, the conservatee is deemed mentally impaired. Furthermore, the conservator’s powers are limited to the area in which the conservatee may not be able to manage on his or her own. Usually, the court encourages limited conservatorships because they allow conservatees to maintain as much independence as possible.
On the other hand, a general conservatorship provides a higher level of care to the conservatee. This type of conservatorship is best for a person who is unable to fully provide personal care for themselves or make financial decisions.
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How to Obtain Conservatorship in California
1. File a Petition for Conservatorship
One of the first steps of obtaining conservatorship in California is completing and filing a petition for conservatorship. These petition documents are quite cumbersome and can be extremely confusing without professional help. For example, the documents cover information about the proposed conservator, conservatee, the conservatee’s immediate relatives, and the reasons for conservatorship. Additionally, the petition must also explain why there are no possible alternatives to a conservatorship. Ultimately, the petition must be filed with the local court in which the proposed conservatee resides. For help with every part of the petition process, from filling to filing the forms, contact A People’s Choice.
2. Serve the Notice of Petition
Once the petition is filed, the court clerk will schedule a court date. At this point, a neutral adult must serve the proposed conservatee notice of the petition for conservatorship. Additionally, they must also serve the relatives of the proposed conservatee. Furthermore, at this time, a court appointed investigator will speak to the proposed conservatee and others to collect more information about the conservatee’s condition.
3. Attend a Court Hearing
Next, the proposed conservatee must attend the court hearing unless they do not have the capacity to do so. During the hearing, the judge will determine if all family members were properly notified. Additionally, the judge may appoint a lawyer to represent the proposed conservatee. Ultimately, the judge may grant or deny the conservatorship.
4. Learn Your New Role
Finally, as long as the judge grants conservatorship, the court will file an order appointing the conservator and issue letters of conservatorship. Be sure to review the Handbook for Conservators for more information about your new role. However, as soon as the court issues letters, you may now assume the powers authorized per the court order.
If you’re looking to become a conservator for a family member or friend and need assistance with your legal documents, contact A People’s Choice. We can help you fill and file paperwork and also provide more information about how to obtain conservatorship in California.
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