Families in California considering a conservatorship for an elderly loved one may have many questions. It is important that they understand the basics of conservatorship, so they can make informed choices. A probate conservatorship is a court case during which a judge appoints a party as conservator. A conservator can be either an individual or an organization who is appointed to manage the finances of an individual that no longer possesses the capacity to do so for themselves.
There are generally two types of probate conservatorships: limited and general conservatorships. A general conservatorship is for individuals who cannot care for themselves or their finances and is most commonly sought for elderly individuals. A limited conservatorship is for developmentally disabled individuals who cannot care for themselves or their finances. Individuals in general conservatorships typically need a higher level or care. In addition, a temporary conservatorship can be appointed in exigent circumstances.
The duties of a conservator can vary based on if the conservator is caring for the individual or the estate, so it is helpful for family members interested in setting up a conservatorship to be familiar with what those are. In California, different individuals can file for a conservatorship including spouses and domestic partners; relatives; interested state or local agencies; another interested individual or friend; and the conservatee themselves.
The conservatorship court process can be technical and complex at times, but it looks after important interests. Therefore, it is helpful for families interested in the process to understand what it entails. The better they understand the conservatorship process, the better position they are in to ensure their loved one is properly looked after and taken care of through a conservatorship.