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Frequently Asked Questions

Does a family member or loved one need assistance managing their financial lives or daily living situation due to incompetence or special needs? Conservatorships are designed to protect conservatees and help them live life to their fullest potential.

Q: When is a conservatorship needed?

Answer: Has someone you love suffered a stroke or developed dementia, rendering them incapable of communicating, making informed decisions, or managing their own finances or health care? Is it likely that they will remember to take their medication? How likely is it that they will attend their doctor’s appointments? Are they going to pay their bills on time?

Taking the necessary steps to protect your loved one becomes extremely important when they are unable to care for their own health or finances. Your state’s probate court can grant you a conservatorship if this is the best option. A CDR attorney can help you navigate the process of establishing a conservatorship and explore with you the different conservatorship options available.

Q: How Long Does a Conservatorship Last?

Answer: Conservatorships often do not expire until one of two things happens. First, a court can end the arrangement if the need no longer exists or the conservator has failed to fulfill their duties. Secondly, the legal conservatorship ends with the death of the conservatee.

Conservatorships, however, can be temporary and expire automatically in some cases. In mental health cases, the Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) conservatorship usually expires after one year and must be reevaluated by a judge.

Q: What is the difference between a guardianship and conservatorship?

Answer: California guardianships refer only to the appointment of an individual with the legal authority to represent and manage the affairs of a minor child. The conservatorship [link to top section of this document] process is for protecting incapacitated adults and usually involves matters related to health care and estate management.

Q: Can a conservatorship be avoided?

Answer: Conservatorship should only be considered only as a last resort. The court may find that no conservatorship is necessary if a comprehensive estate plan is properly administered by the trustee and agents.

Q: Can I contest a Conservatorship that is no longer needed?

Answer: Depending on the circumstances, a conservatorship may no longer be necessary.

  • Has the person for whom a conservatorship has been established regained mental capacity?
  • Has a conservatorship been established under false pretenses?

It is possible for conservatees or the loved ones of conservatees to terminate a conservatorship that was not necessary in the first place or is no longer required. Our team can gather the facts of the case and effectively present them to the court, giving the conservatee the best chance at obtaining their desired outcome.

Q: What Is the Process to become a Conservator?

Answer: The courts appoint conservators, so you must file a petition in your state to get one appointed. In order to become a conservator in California, you must file a Petition with the court and nominate yourself to the position. Alternatively, another interested party may nominate you to be conservator. As in most states, California generally gives preference to family members as conservators, although others could be appointed if necessary. During the petition process, the court would investigate the petitioner to ensure they were a good candidate.

Conservatorships are generally designed to protect the conservatee’s best interests while allowing him or her to retain as much independence as possible. It is therefore necessary to demonstrate that no better alternatives exist than conservatorship. The evidence for this assertion is often provided by doctors or other medical providers.

Q: Can the court appoint both a guardian and a conservator?

Answer: Yes, if the court finds it appropriate.

Q: Can the same person be both the guardian and the conservator?

Answer: Yes, but the court can also appoint different people to serve as guardians and conservators.

Ready to Get Started?

If you're ready to discuss your conservatorship needs or have any questions, our team is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards securing the best interests of your loved ones.

At Conservatorships Done Right, we are committed to providing you with the resources, knowledge, and legal expertise you need to navigate the conservatorship process confidently. Whether you're seeking to establish a conservatorship, contesting one, or simply exploring your options, our resources hub is here to support you every step of the way.

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National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. | Dennis M. Sandoval
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. | Dennis M. Sandoval
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. | Dennis M. Sandoval
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. | Dennis M. Sandoval
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Inc. | Dennis M. Sandoval
Dennis M. Sandoval
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