In a conservatorship, an appointed individual or organization oversees the personal care or financial matters of another individual who lacks the capacity to manage these affairs for himself/herself. If a family member or close friend is suffering from a serious mental or physical illness or declining mentally or physically, a conservatorship may be a good idea. The person who lacks capacity is called a conservatee. The person who takes care of the incapacitated person is called the conservator. Conservators can be a friend, family member, or a professional conservator.
THE LAW OFFICES OF DANIEL HUNT CAN HELP
Our law firm has helped many Sacramento-area residents with a wide range of conservatorship issues. Whether you need help carrying out your duties as a conservator or you would like to petition the court for the appointment of a conservatorship, we can help. Our attorneys aim to offer excellent customer service. We listen carefully to the needs of our clients and work hard to communicate with them throughout the entire process. Contact our Sacramento conservatorship law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.
WHAT IS A CONSERVATORSHIP IN CALIFORNIA?
California’s Probate Code governs the appointment of conservatorships. A California Probate Court must formally establish a conservatorship through a court proceeding. Probate conservatorships can be general or limited. General Probate Conservatorships are intended for individuals who are unable to care for their own personal needs due to issues with capacity or disability.
Limited Probate Conservatorships apply to individuals who are only able to care for themselves with limited capacity. Limited Probate Conservatorships are unique because they allow the conservatee to live as independently as possible. The decision-making authority of the conservator is limited based on the capabilities of the conservatee.
HOW TO INITIATE A CONSERVATORSHIP IN CALIFORNIA PROBATE COURT
The person who is proposing the conservatorship must file a petition with the court in order to initiate the matter. Once the petitioner files the petition, the clerk of the Probate Court will set a date for the hearing. The hearing is typically 45 days from the date of the filing of the petition. There are specific provisions in the Probate Code requiring that specific individuals be provided with notice of proceeding and conservatorship hearing. After the hearing, a judge will determine whether to grant the conservatorship.
WHEN DOES AN ADULT BECOME INCAPACITATED?
An adult becomes incapacitated when he or she cannot communicate his or her decisions. An incapacitated adult cannot properly make decisions or care for him or herself mentally or physically. Evidence, such as physical examinations of the proposed conservatee, must be presented in order for a judge to establish a conservatorship.
WHAT DUTIES DOES A CONSERVATOR HAVE?
Acting as a conservator is a legal responsibility that one should not undertake lightly. The duties of a conservator depend on the type of conservatorship. Conservators have a duty to make decisions in the best interest of the conservatee. Some of the duties of a conservator on behalf of a conservatee include the following:
- Making arrangements for the care and protection of the conservatee
- Determining where the conservator will live
- Making arrangements for the conservatee’s health care, clothing, transportation
- Making arrangements for the conservatee’s finances
- Protecting and controlling the conservatee’s assets and income
- Paying the conservatee’s bills
- Managing the conservatee’s overall well being
Conservators should be prepared to submit a lot of paperwork and attend court hearings. Conservators have a legal duty to provide an accounting to the Probate Court as to their management of the conservatee’s funds. Within 60 days of becoming a conservator, the conservator must create an inventory of the conservatee’s estate. The inventory must include the value of all real estate, financial accounts, stocks, bonds, and other assets belonging to the conservatee.
THE BENEFITS OF HIRING THE LAW OFFICES OF DANIEL HUNT
Becoming the conservator of another person can be a daunting process. Many people lead busy lives and may not have the free time to complete all of the paperwork and duties required of conservators. At the Law Offices of Daniel Hunt, we have years of experience related to legal issues surrounding conservatorships. Hiring a skilled attorney to help you understand your duties and complete them can help you and your loved ones immensely.
Our law firm helps conservators with a wide range of conservatorship issues. A few of the services we provide include the following:
- We represent conservators and help them carry out their fiduciary duties
- We represent individuals who are contesting the appointment of a conservator
- We represent individuals to fill out and submit the required conservatorship paperwork
- We represent individuals who would like to petition the court to appoint a conservator
- We represent individuals who have suffered exploitation within a conservatorship
Our firm undertakes conservatorship representation on an hourly fee basis which is outlined in our retainer agreement. The total cost of a conservatorship can range from $3500 to $8,000 or more. The cost depends on the complexity of the matter, which controls the amount of work that will be required.
ALTERNATIVES TO CONSERVATORSHIPS IN CALIFORNIA
Although the conservatorship process may seem somewhat daunting. California Probate Law offers some alternatives to conservatorships. If the person who needs assistance has the capacity to understand and sign a Power of Attorney or Advanced Health Care Directive, these legal documents might be all that is necessary for the individual to receive adequate care. Our experienced estate planning attorneys can help you determine the best options for your unique needs. We help clients understand the different legal options so they can make the most informed decisions possible for themselves and their loved ones.
OUR CONSERVATORSHIP ATTORNEYS CAN HELP
Situations involving the incapacity of a friend or loved one can be difficult. Hiring a skilled Sacramento estate planning attorney can help you and your family go through the legal process smoothly. The conservatorship process can quickly become complicated. Having an experienced attorney in your corner can help you navigate the various legal issues surrounding conservatorships.
Our attorneys focus on offering our clients professional, courteous representation. Contact our law firm today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how our attorneys can help you and your family.