At Stevenson Law Office, we assist clients in all matters related to estates and probate, including conservatorship administration and litigation. A conservatorship is a court proceeding in which a judge appoints a trusted person or institution (a “conservator”) to make decisions for another adult (the “conservatee”) who cannot care for his or her own well-being and/or finances.
Our attorneys help clients petition for, and establish conservatorships for aging or dependent loved ones, and also advocate for our clients’ best interests when a conservatorship-related dispute arises.
Petitioning for a Conservatorship
California law recognizes various types of conservatorships depending on the needs of the conservatee. General conservatorships are appropriate for adults who cannot care for themselves or their finances because of a severe impairment, disability, and/or advanced age, while limited conservatorships are suited for adults who can manage many, but not all, aspects of their daily lives. When a conservatorship is needed right away, a court may appoint a temporary conservator until a general conservator can be appointed.
Many people can petition for a conservatorship, including:
- The spouse or domestic partner of the proposed conservatee
- A relative of the proposed conservatee
- Any other interested person or friend of the proposed conservatee
- Any interested state or local entity or agency
- The proposed conservatee, himself or herself
When applying for a conservatorship, you must determine whether you want to apply for a “conservatorship of the person” or a “conservatorship of the estate,” or both. A conservator of the person is responsible for the conservatee’s physical needs, and a conservator of the estate handles the conservatee’s finances and assets.
We have significant experience guiding clients through the conservatorship process, from determining the type of conservatorship needed to handling all required filings, document preparation, and necessary court appearances.
Advice & Guidance for Conservators
Because conservatorships convey very broad and deep powers over another person, courts are very strict and exacting in conservatorship procedures, both during and after the appointment of a conservator. We help conservators assess and fulfill their fiduciary obligations and responsibilities with regard to a conservatee’s living arrangements, health care, finances, income, assets, budget, and other duties assigned to a conservator.
In addition to helping clients establish and administer conservatorships, Stevenson Law Office handles conservatorship litigation, which may arise when someone contests the appointment of a certain conservator or when there is an allegation that a conservator has breached a fiduciary duty to the conservatee. Conservatorship litigation may also involve the removal of a conservator and/or the appointment of a successor conservator, as well as investigations into capacity, fraud, and elder abuse, among other issues.
Contact an Experienced Los Angeles County Conservatorships Attorney
If you need assistance with a conservatorship matter in Southern California, please contact the probate and estates lawyers at Stevenson Law Office. We can effectively represent your legal needs as a conservator, conservatee, or concerned family member.
On very short notice, the firm secured the appointment of a temporary conservator and a restraining order for a client whose elderly mother was the victim of financial elder abuse by a caregiver.
The firm’s client prevailed “on the courthouse steps” in a hotly-contested conservatorship action between two relatives who were fighting to become the conservator of a developmentally disabled adult who was the recipient of two substantial personal injury settlements.