In California, a conservatorship is used when an adult cannot physically care for themselves or is unable to handle their financial affairs and another person is appointed by the court to handle such matters on a person’s behalf. A guardianship is used to establish similar arrangements on behalf of minors.
The Los Angeles probate lawyers at Howard Law take special care in handling conservatorship cases on behalf of our clients. Establishing a conservator for someone’s physical and financial well-being is a serious responsibility requiring the legal skills of a veteran law firm experienced in probate court matters. In some cases, a power of attorney may be a more appropriate than establishing a conservatorship and an experienced attorney will be able to best advise you on the most appropriate course of action for your legal situation.
A California conservatorship case is started by filing paperwork in Probate Court and providing copies to the person over whom conservatorship is sought, known as the conservatee.
While this can sometimes be a painful process for all involved – especially when a conservatee is being targeted against his or her will, as in the case of an elderly family member or a loved one dealing with a mental illness – our attorneys are dedicated to working on behalf of our clients to help complete the process in a safe and timely fashion. Cases in which a pending estate is at issue can also involve contentious conservatorship hearings. By working across all branches of our comprehensive law practice -- including estate planning, business litigation, personal injury, criminal law and immigration -- our firm can help ensure you have the legal resources necessary to successfully argue your case. The Conservatorship attorneys at Howard Law represent clients throughout the Los Angeles area, including Anaheim, Riverside and Santa Ana.
Once the conservatorship process is started, a court investigator will talk to the conservatee and other parties with knowledge of the situation. A hearing is then held to determine whether a conservator will be appointed and who the conservator will be. Once a conservator is appointed, certain steps must be taken to comply with the orders or the court under a conservatorship agreement.
Conservatorship/Inventory & Appraisal
- An inventory and appraisal of the estate of the person under conservatorship must be conducted and filed within 90 days of the date a judge signs an Order Appointing Probate Conservator.
- For assets other than cash, a conservator will be required to provide the inventory and appraisal to a court referee. The probate referee will make a final determination as to the value of the items, which can take several months. The estate is charged a fee for the work of the referee, which can include expenses, such as mileage, in addition to a set percentage of the estate.
- Once a conservatorship has been established, the court will conduct periodic investigations to make sure the person under conservatorship is being properly cared for and to determine the need to continue conservatorship.
- In faces where a conservator is charged with handling a person’s finances, a bond just be posted and detailed periodic accounting of income and expenditures must be provided to the court.
- A conservator must provide periodic status reports regarding the conservatee’s welfare and condition and the actions a conservator has made in carrying out his or her duties.
- A conservator is generally eligible to be reimbursed for reasonable expenses, which will require court approval.
Establishing a California conservatorship is a complex legal matter best undertaken with the guidance of an experienced law firm. At Howard Law, our probate attorneys offer confidential appointments to discuss your case.
CALIFORNIA LIFE INSURANCE TRUST – Call (800) 872-5925 – Howard Law